The carnival is a public celebration, combining elements such as costumes, parades and street parties. Legend has it that on the night of Carnaval anything goes, so people usually go masked.
The origin of the celebration comes from the pagan festivals, such as those performed in honor of Bacchus, god of wine, the Roman Saturnalia and Lupercalia, or which were held in honor of the bull Apis in Egypt over 5000 years ago with very similar celebrations in the Roman Empire, where the custom spread through Europe. Being brought to America by the Spanish and Portuguese sailors from XV century.
One of the most unique and special carnivals in Spain (a part of the Carnival of the Canary Islands) is the carnival of Catalonia:
The Carnival in Catalonia:
Like almost any other carnival in the world, is the pagan festival that takes place in the interval of time from the arrival of the Magi to Ash Wednesday, the day which begins Lent.
In Catalan is said Carnestoltes carnis cualis derived from Latin, meaning "private meat", and refers to the prohibition of eating meat during the forty days of Lent.
Ash Wednesday, the king Carnestoltes, faces trial with Old Lent (which, Old Lent always winning out), after the trial, is sentenced to death carnestoltes and incinerated a doll representing the King Carnestoltes. When the doll just burning, Lent begins.
The most famous carnivals are the Solsona, Cunit, Vilanova i la Geltrú, Sitges, Rubí, Tarragona, Olot, Torello, Palamos and Castell d'Aro.