Today we celebrate...
Carnival or Carnestoltes as stated in Catalunya, is a celebration that belongs to moon worship. This is why it is a moveable festivity, which this year takes place from 12 to 18 February.
It seems that the word Carnival comes from "carnem levare" which is understood as "remove meat", which occurs during the forty days of Lent, when according to tradition, you can not eat meat.
Carnival is a break with the established order during a specific period of time, ranging from family happiness of Christmas to the severity of the Easter liturgy. It questions the rules, removes the hierarchy and privilege, and breaks taboos . Throughout history this confrontation between madness and sanity, between the breaker and the established, is symbolized by two characters: the Carnival King (fat character, drinker, crazy and foul-mouthed) and the old Lent (an old woman of seven legs, who fasts and that is also vegetarian), his former enemy.
Carnestoltes or Carnival King is a plastic representation of satire and wildness, and it's shaped as a human. His birth in Catalunya is documented in the seventeenth century, and the typical puppet that farmers put in cultivated fields to scare the birds, was used as a model to buid it. In Barcelona, we built a mobil puppet dressed in Carlos III style with hat and coat, and was kept in a box. He get the treatment protocol of King or His Majesty, as it is the king of wildness and the monarch of joke.
According to tradition, the program of activities during Carnival is: The Dijous Gras (February 12th) is a day to eat tortilla, egg sausage and “coca de llardons”. Between Thursday and Friday the arrival of Carnestoltes king take place, and he is greeted by ambassadors and officials, reading a speech focused on the biting satire to the civil and ecclesiastical powers.
On Saturday, February 14, the masked balls begin, and Sunday it is the traditional day for rúas, processions and parades of carriages. Monday and Tuesday continues with masked balls and finally, on Ash Wednesday, which is on February 18, King is publicly accused of being guilty for all the excesses committed during the last days , so it is judged and sentenced to death, burned and buried. In some places it's also host the "Burial of the Sardine" as a prelude to the beginning of Lent. And so Carnivel is finished.
As you have seen, because of the nearness of Lent and the overruns, the Carnival typical gastronomy is characterized for the eating of fatty foods and meats. The three most common products that are consumed at the beginning of the holidays are the “tortilla”, egg sausage and “coca de llardons”. And in the end, coinciding with the beginning of Lent, sardines, herring and “coca de recapte”.
Today all our guests are having coca de llardons for breakfast. BON APPÉTIT!