The Carnival of Encamp

In Encamp, the carnival is one of the most festive times of the year. Satire and fun fill the streets for a fun-filled festival.

The Carnival of Encamp is organised by the local Festivals’ commission, and is the loudest in the Principality, with a satirical touch to boot. With satire about the latest events, often political in nature, from the get go, with the hanging of the Carnival King starting events. This sets the tone and theme for other performances that take place over the four days of revelry and fun in town.

Highlights of the unique Carnival of Encamp include the “Trial of the smugglers”, which has been put on since the 1950s, on Carnival Sunday. The traditional figure of the smuggler is present throughout the Pyrenees, and has led to a host of performances and activities.

The Ball de l’Ossa (Dance of the Bear) also takes place here, and has been declared part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Andorra. Though its origins are uncertain, it’s often traced to the Middle Ages, and has been celebrated at the Carnival of Encamp every year since the mid-20th century.

The operation on the Carnival King closes out festivities. This last act is where the Carnival medical team tries—unsuccessfully—to revive the Carnival King, exhausted after four days of partying, and he is burnt.