Carnival 2016: Arrival of the Reina Belluga and Carnival fireworks

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Carnival 2016: Arrival of the Reina Belluga and Carnival fireworks
© Pere Virgili
Reina Belluga

The 'Arribo' ('Arrival') of the Reina Belluga Carnival queen is the traditional act of welcoming Carnival to the city. Historically, this celebration featured loads of different parts and elements that had the Arribo as its highlight. This year there's not a Carnival king but a queen, the Reina Belluga, a bit of a mad character who's a traditional figure from the 17th century and symbolises the excesses of Carnival.

The Parade of the Seven Ambassadors, with their exuberant court and lively musicians, including Rodanxó and Rodanxona – Barcelona Carnival's giants – that starts in the Plaça Sant Cugat (6pm) takes place just before the suprising and anticipated arrival of the Reina Belluga herself in Plaça Comercial in the Born.

In the name of the city, Misser Frank-y-falso, your master of ceremonies, invites the royal entourage as well as all commoners to enter El Born Centre Cultural, where the Reina Belluga will question the legitimacy of the reign of the former Carnival king and declare her rule over this year's festivities, as she invites everyone to live wild and free during these days of debauchery.

Once again in Plaça Comercial, with the lighting of the Fuegos de Carnival fireworks – dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries – the party really gets started, along with the reign of the Reina Belluga.

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