Celebrating Carnival in Valencia: 'Carnaval de Russafa'

It's nearly that time of year again and carnival is almost upon us. No, it's not Rio, Mardi Gras nor Venice — but Valencia also knows how to put on a good feast.

The neighborhood of Russafa welcomes every year thousands of people to their carnival. An initiative carried out by the organizations Jarit and Sariri to commemorate the coexistence between cultures as well as the most relevant social demands that concern the citizens of Valencia.

When is the parade?

Saturday, February 16, 2019, from 17:00 H to 00:00 H

The parade will go through the Russafa neighborhood: starting at the Parque Granero and all the way through the streets of Filipinas, Literato Azorín, Sueca, Dénia, Cuba and Pintor Gisbert.

What to expect?

Music will be the main protagonist of the evening. It may not be the sound of samba, but it will certainly be a party.

There will be more than 17 different local bands in charge of bringing the rhythm to the streets of Russafa. The parade will begin with several groups of batukadas, followed by the music bands, which will later on combine with the beats played by fraternities coming from Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Mali, Honduras, Chile and Peru.

The history of the carnival

The ancient pagan tradition of honouring Baco, the god of wine, was adopted by the Catholics and turned into a "feast of meat" before the austerity of the 40 days of Lent. In fact, the word carnival comes from 'carnelevare' which is a combination of the words carne 'meat' and levare 'take away'.

The 'Carnaval de Russafa' is a tribute to the ancient carnival held in Valencia during the 19th century. During this period, King Alfonso XIII prohibited this festivity in the city. This led people to move the celebration to Russafa — an independent municipality that was located outside of the city walls.

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