Celebrate Carnival in Valencia
Carnival is well-known as one of the most popular and exciting festivities in the world, as it’s the time when costumes, masks and parades fill the streets with merrymaking and joy. Find out here how the most colorful party of the year is celebrated in Valencia!
Every February to March this global costume party is celebrated, but what’s the origin of this event? Why do people dress up? Do we know where Carnival was created?
Many different theories about the origin of Carnival exist, but they all have something in common: the creation of an event where formalities and rules gave way to chaos and fun.
Did you know that some people think the origin of Carnival dates back more than thousands of years? In the Middle Ages, however, this festivity took its name of Carnival – which is how we know it today. This event was held days before the beginning of “La Cuaresma”, a period of abstinence and fasting. Therefore, these previous days were seen a celebration, where everything was allowed in excess. In some places, it was seen as a way to escape from life’s problems for a few days, and therefore, people covered their faces with masks to safeguard their anonymity.
There are some places around the world where the celebration of Carnival is particularly popular, and you must have heard about them: Venice, Rio de Janeiro, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Cadiz. Each one has its peculiarities and specific traditions, but they all share the main features of joy, color, and of course, a big party!
Carnival in Valencia
Although Carnival in Valencia was largely forbidden during the time of the Franco dictatorial regime, it was later reinstated thanks to the initiative of neighbors and local communities.
The largest and most iconic Carnival in Valencia takes place in the central neighborhood of “Ruzafa”, representing both a fun and artistic way to unite a neighborhood and a city.
The Carnivals of this popular Valencian neighborhood aim to promote co-existence across society: neighbors, different social and cultural groups, hostelería and merchants make it possible to celebrate this picturesque parade. What makes it special here in Valencia are the famous balconies, with original and artistic manifestations on each one, filling every corner with color.
During this period of celebration, the neighborhood hosts a wide range of events and celebrations.
This year’s schedule of events
Valencia is already preparing its best costumes for the Ruzafa Carnival of 2023! This year’s Carnival comes with a strong political slogan: “Emergencia climática y contra las guerras», which loosely translates to «Climate emergency and against wars”.
This weekend is the big celebration, read the schedule below to ensure you don’t miss the greatest day of the Ruzafa Carnival on the 18th of February!
– From 12:00h to 22:00h you will have the opportunity to visit the “Carnival Market”, which will be located in the Granero Park.
– Starting at 17:00h you will be able to enjoy the Carnival parade (departing from Granero Park) with more than 50 groups participating and playing music. They’ll pass through the streets of the neighborhood, putting on a show for all to see!
On the 19th of February the “Carnival Market” will continue from 12:00h to 22:00h.
If you have the opportunity, it’s also a must-see to check out the different Carnival parties which are celebrated in towns around the Valencian region! Here are some below:
Carnival of Torrevieja:
The 2023 Carnival of Torrevieja is celebrated from January 27 to February 26. For four weeks, Torrevieja dresses up to celebrate its renowned Carnivals, which are listed as some of the most popular in Valencia.
Carnival of Villar del Arzobispo:
This is one of the most deeply-rooted Carnivals in the Valencian region. It’s celebrated on February 16, 17, 18, and 19 this year. Black pudding/blood sausage in Villar is called “morcas”, being one of the traditional elements of its gastronomy. A wide range of events take place during these days, and is definitely worth a visit!
Carnival of Pego:
From February 16 to 22, this town in the province of Alicante is filled with light, music and color, and can’t be missed!
Carnival of Vinarós:
This is one of the most important celebrations in the Mediterranean, and is celebrated from February 4 to 20.
Carnival of Requena:
From February 24 to 26, the streets of Requena are filled with parades, which are combined with typical gastronomy as its great wines and food.
As you see, there’s many different options to enjoy Carnival in Valencia! What are you waiting for? We hope to see you out there this weekend!