Flag of Andorra Carnival in Andorra

Carnival in Andorra, also known as "Carnestoltes", is a colorful and lively celebration that marks the beginning of Lent. Taking place in February or early March, it is a joyful time when communities come together to enjoy music, costumes, and parades. The festivities begin with the arrival of the Carnival King, who declares the start of celebrations. Each town in Andorra, from Andorra la Vella to Escaldes-Engordany, hosts parades featuring elaborate floats, dance performances, and marching bands that fill the streets with laughter and music. People of all ages dress up in vibrant costumes, from mythical creatures to popular characters, creating a fun and festive atmosphere.

During Carnival, local squares transform into stages for traditional plays and dances like the "Ball de l'Ossa", which tells the story of a bear being captured and defeated. This humorous performance brings smiles to both locals and visitors alike. In addition to the plays, costume contests encourage participants to showcase their creativity, with prizes for the most impressive outfits. Meanwhile, food stalls serve local treats like "coca" (a type of sweet bread) and hot chocolate, adding to the warmth of the celebration. Schools also join the festivities by organizing their own mini parades and inviting children to partake in the Carnival spirit.

As Carnival wraps up, a solemn ceremony known as the "Burial of the Sardine" marks the end of the celebration. This ritual symbolizes the conclusion of indulgence and prepares people for the reflective period of Lent. Despite this solemn ending, the days of Carnival remain a cherished highlight of the Andorran calendar. It is a time of joy and unity when families, friends, and neighbors gather to celebrate traditions that bring life to the heart of the Pyrenees. Carnival in Andorra is a vibrant display of the nation's cultural heritage, reminding everyone of the importance of fun, creativity, and togetherness.

Carnival Observances

Monday February 20 2023 Carnival Public Holiday
Monday February 12 2024 Carnival Public Holiday
Monday March 03 2025 Carnival Public Holiday

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This page was last edited on 06 May 2024 at 11:26 AM (EST).