PICK OF THE WEEK: Andorra (Pyrenees)

Main places:

Andorra la VellaEscaldes-EngordanySan Julia de LoriaLa MassanaOrdinoEncampCanilloPas de la Casa

PICK OF THE WEEK: Monday, 25th February – Sunday, 3d March, 2019


Monday, 25th February at 22h at Hotel Màgic, La Massana. (Free) Vibrand Concert in Clau de Soul. On Mondays the week starts with the best vibrations, with live music and with the songs you like to sing! We are waiting for you to enjoy a concert that is born of soul and goes through different styles such as funky, bag, jazz, reggae, trip hop …, from the successes of current and evergreen performers such as Jamiroquai, Sting, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars, Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone, Joss Stone, Adele and Tom Jobim, Toquinho, among others. Also on Friday, 1st March at 20.30h at Piolets Centre Hotel, Soldeu.

Tuesday, 26th February at 20h at the Centre de Congressos, Andorra la Vella. (Tickets 35€/25€. From Centre de Congressos d’Andorra la Vella, Oficina de Turisme d’Andorra la Vella, Departament de Cultura – La Llacuna, or Online from Morabanc Music and Dance Season of Andorra la Vella. Bryn Terfel in Concert. The charismatic Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel is one of the most sought after singers on the international stage of opera, known for the colour, the thrust and the precision of his voice. The son of a farmer, Welsh was Bryn’s first language. Terfel was initially associated with Mozart’s roles (Figaro and Leporel), but expanded his repertoire to more powerful roles, especially those of Wagner. In the Season he will show why he is one of the most outstanding singers in popular repertoire and musical comedy. Musicians: Bryn Terfel, (baritone), Annabel Thwaite, (piano).

Wednesday, 27th February at 21.30h at the The Villager Tapas & Wine, Canillo. (Free) The Swing Girls in concert. Music to listen and dance to. The Swing Girls are three professional singers: Susanne, La Mar and Fanny, who make up this band inspired by the music of the 50s and 60s to the present day. With their own image and style, they pay tribute to the best songs of these decades, with a careful, elegant and dynamic repertoire. A selection of the best artists and hits of these decades, among which we can highlight: The Andrews Sisters, The Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Megan Trainor and Amy Winehouse.

Thursday, 28th February at 21.30h at Sport Hotel Village Soldeu. (Free) Concert of the band Shuffle Express. A traditional and contemporary blues night in different styles (swing, rock, shuffle, calypso …) versions of artists such as BB King, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Joe Bonamassa, Susan Tedeschi and Jr. Watson, among others, with some compositions of the band. Musicians: Pablo Villar (vocals and guitar); Virginia Yañez (keyboard and vocals); Marc Milian (bass and sound); Dante Falótico (percussion). Also Saturday, 2nd March at 21.30h at the Hotel Parador Canaro, Soldeu.

Saturday, 2nd March at 18h at the Aparthotel la Tulipa-Arans, Ordino. CLASSICAL ORDINO – Music in a cup. With performances by the Children’s choirs and Schools of Music of Andorra. The audience will be offered a cup of hot chocolate after the concert.


NOTE FOR YOUR DIARY v Sunday, 24th March at 18h at the Centre de Congressos, Andorra la Vella. Morabanc’s Music and dance season of Andorra la Vella: Stars of the Ballet of the Opera of Paris. The stars of the Ballet of the National Opera of Paris will offer a spectacular programme that travels musically through time and geography, and proposes a wide range of emotion from the most introverted universe to more vital expression. With more than three centuries of history, one of the largest ballet-based repertoire companies today, remains true to its dual vocation of transmission and openness to new creation.


Monday 25th – Thursday, 28th February at 18h at the Cinemes Illa Carlemany, Escaldes-Engorday. Green Book Directed by Peter Farrelly. Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini. The Story: A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.

Tuesday, 5th March at 19h at the Cinemes Illa Carlemany, Escaldes-Engorday Mia et le lion blanc (in French) Directed by Gilles Maistre. Starring: Daniah de Villiers, Mélanie Laurent, Langley Kirkwood. The Story Mia is 11-years- old when she begins an extraordinary relationship with Charlie, a white lion born on her parents’ farm in South Africa. They grow up as brothers, and Charlie becomes an imposing lion. When Mia discovers the secret of her father’s farm, she will only have one obsession: to save Charlie.


From Friday, 1st March – Sunday, 31st March in the Sala de la Closeta, La Massana. Mountain Lives with photographs by Natàlia Montané and texts by Isabel de la Parte. At the moment, the primary, agricultural sector is going through a period of profound change and adaptation in which old and new ways of living the country life coexists. As a result of a collaboration between the Department of Agriculture and the Archive of Ethnography (National Archive, Department of Cultural Heritage), the project Livestock raising began in 2012, portraying the diversity of ways to work and to understand the activity, giving voice to the older farmers and looking at the youngest. The work of ethnographic documentation wanted to place special emphasis on the safeguarding of cultural expressions related to the activities that are disappearing or are being transformed.

As part of that collaboration, it was considered important to create a documentary fund about livestock activity with a dual purpose: as a tool for knowledge of the sector and awareness of the importance of such activity in a mountain society; and as a tool to safeguard practices and traditional knowledge. The ethnographic project Livestock raising includes the stories of some livestock farmers who, although they share situations and perceptions about their activity, also show differences. Beyond documenting and witnessing, they are records of experiences, emotions and feelings that provide a variety of nuances and cultural interpretations of a personal nature, uncovering the diversity and uniqueness of livestock life, which generalizations often hide.


For an explanation of Carnival and Carnestoltes see the end.

Note times of parades through the streets


Saturday, 2nd March – Monday, 4th March

SATURDAY: 16h Parade of the Arlequins de Canillo. 22.30h Night dance and costume competition at the Palau de gel ice rink. SUNDAY: 17h Makeup and balloon twisting workshop. 17.30h Children’s entertainment with the Discobaby Glamor and costume parade in the Perecaus socio-sports building with cake and chocolate for all participants.

MONDAY: 18h. Judgment and burning of the Carnestoltes in the cable car building. End of Carnival celebration.


Monday, 25th February – Friday, 1st March. Carnival in the Encamp and Pas de la Casa Youth Areas. (Price 88€ for the week. For children aged 6 – 12. 10% discount for users of the Area. 10% discount with the Club Piolet card or Targeta de Joventut. 20% discount for second sibling. Register: Tel. +376 834 333 or [email protected]) 5 days of activities with the theme: The 80s.

CHILDREN’S CARNIVAL workshops Tuesday 26th – Thursday, 28th February at 16h at the Public Library, Pas de la Casa. Live your character. During the school holidays, children can go to the Library where they will be helped to become their favourite character with make-up and accessories.

Saturday 2nd March – Wednesday, 6th March in the Sports Complex Party Hall unless otherwise stated.

SATURDAY: 12h Hanging of Carnestoltes in the Plaça del Consell followed at 13h Folk dance by the Esbart Sant Romà. 15h Parade of floats. 17:30h Children’s show: Viva el Carnaval’ (Long live Carnival). 23h Night Ball with La Cimarron. 02h DJ Litus. SUNDAY: 6h Early awakening through the streets. 9h Slaughter in the Plaça dels Arínsols. 16h Smugglers and botifarrada in the Plaça dels Arínsols. 17:30h Children’s show: Gresca Carnavalera 19h Afternoon dance with the Mediterranea band. 23h 80s party:

Welcome band and DJ Mark.

NOTES FOR YOUR DIARY in the Sports Complex Party Hall unless otherwise stated.

Monday, 4th March 16h Traditional Dance of the Bear and Garlic and oil beside the Casa Comuna. 17:30h Children’s show: Balla Clown with El Bitxi. 23h Night Ball with the orchestra La Montecarlo. 01h to 05h Marvel Party.

Tuesday, 5th March at 19h The lowering of the Carnival Carnestoltes from the Plaça del Consell General. 23h Night dance with La Mitjanit Orchestra. 20.30h Operation Carnival 01:30h DJ NandoO

Wednesday, 6th March, 21h. Sardine party with animation by La Piccola Orquesta, Plaça dels Arínsols, 22h Sardine burial Plaça dels Arínsols.


All events will take place on Monday, 4th March in the Plaça Major 12h Performance of The Smugglers with the collaboration of the Valls del Nord dance troupe, the Casamanya choir, the Ordino Folk Group and young and not so young volunteers from Ordino. The re-enacting of the farce, The Smugglers, has become a special part of the festivities. This performance, the third, involves several groups and organisations from the parish, such as the Valls del Nord dance troupe, the Casamanya choir and the, in addition to the voluntary contribution made by the people in the town. The plot revolves around the character of the smuggler, a figure with deep ties to Pyrenean culture. The action begins when soldiers, who are on their rounds, come across a group of smugglers.13h Traditional Carnival meat stew provided by Hotel Babot. 16h Children’s fancy dress competition.16.30h Children’s costume ball, with chocolate and cake for everyone.

LA MASSANA v Monday, 25th February, from 16h – 17h at the public Library. (For children aged 6 – 12. Tel. 324 558 for more information) A mask workshop with La Capsa. v Sunday, 3rd March at 17h (inscriptions between 16h – 17h) at the Sala of La Closeta. Children’s fancy dress competition and entertainment.

PUNT 400 Youth Centre Programme for those over 12. (Inscriptions and information at Punt 400 or Tel. 836 505.)

Monday, 25th February: Zumba Workshop

Tuesday, 26th February: Palau de gel Ice rink, Canillo Wednesday, 27th February: Snowshoe outing.

Thursday, 28th February: Outing to Caldea Friday, 1st March: Escape Room

Tuesday, 5th March: Board games.

Friday 1st to Sunday, 3rd March at VallNord’s Plaça de la Coubella at the Pal ski station. (No contact, time, or ages given. Suggest you check at the La Massana tourist Office or at VallNord itself.) Carnival with a Medieval inspiration: Face painting, ball games, mulled wine, hot chocolate.


Monday, 25th February at 15h at Parc Central, Andorra la Vella. (Free for groups of 4 to 6 people. Limited to four groups. Reserve at [email protected] or Tel. 730 007) Carnival activities: Escape Game. Dare to solve an enigma of World War II set by the Historical Centre of Andorra la Vella.

Thursday, 28th February at 9h in Parc Central, Andorra la Vella. (4€) Carnival Activities in the snow. Snowshoe excursion, descending through the Grand Valira tubing and snow activities.

Friday, 1st March at 11h at Parc Central, Andorra la Vella. (4€) Carnival activities: FIFA Championship.


Friday, 1st March at 19h at Av. Carlemany 64, Escaldes-Engordany, Carnival hanging of Carnestoltes, in collaboration with the theatre group Making Off. v Saturday, 2nd March at 18h Great Carnival Street Parade with competitions of costumes and choreography. (3€ Organized jointly by the parishes of Andorra la Vella and Escaldes-Engordany.) Meeting at Plaça Guillemó d’Andorra la Vella, at 17h. The Route: Departure from Guillemó Square – C/ Dr. Nequi – Av. Prince Benlloch – Av. Meritxell – Av. Charlemagne – Av. de las Escuelas – C / Prat Gran – C / del Parnal – C / United Nations – C / de los Veedores – Prat del Roure. At the end there will be a popular hamburguesa (barbequed hamburgers) 3€. The party ends in the sala of Prat del Roure with a parade and performances by the costume entries who have registered in the choreographers competition. Before finishing the party, the winners of competitions of costumes and choreographies will be announced.

Prizes to the best costumes: 1st 500€/2nd 350€/ 3rd 250€/ 4th 200€

Prizes for the best choreographies: 1st 300€/2nd 250€ / 3rd 200€ Prize to the best family costume 200€

Sunday, 3rd March starting at 13.30h in the Carrer dels Veedors, Prat del Roure, Escaldes-Engordany (6€) The 8th Calçotada (a delicious type of leak, roasted) and popular botifarrada sausage barbeque. Come and enjoy a traditional meal in the parish. In case of bad weather, the calçotada will be held in the lobby of Prat del Roure.

Attendees will be presented with a commemorative – and protective – pitet / bib.


Monday, 25th February – Friday, 1st March from 16h – 18h at the Public Library, Escaldes-Engordany. (15€ for children aged 7 – 10. Prebook at the library or on 802 256 or [email protected]) Carnival workshops for Small Readers. Come to the communal area of the library and enjoy a real Carnival. We will discover what is celebrated during this popular holiday, we will learn about traditional characters like Carnestoltes and many more. NOTE FOR YOUR DIARY

Monday, 4th March at 17.30h Children’s costume festival in the Prat del Roure room with chocolate and coca sweet cake. v Tuesday, 5th March at 19h Judgement of Carnival Carnestoltes in the Plaça Coprínceps, Escaldes-Engordany, with the collaboration of the theatre group Making Off. 19.30h Burning of Carnestoltes in the Plaça Coprínceps, Escaldes-Engordany, with pa amb tomaquet and sausages from Andorra for everyone. Performances by the folk dance groups Esbart Santa Anna and Esbart Dansaire.


CARNIVAL 2019: CHILDREN’S BIBLOVACANCES (Library Holidays) Monday, 25th February – Thursday, 28th February at 17h at the University Public Library, Sant Julià de L ria. (Free. The Bibliovacances are aimed at children from 3 to 10. Places limited.

Pre-booking essential Tel. 744 044 or [email protected] ) MONDAY: Storytelling and makeup workshop. The Priska Clown with Eva Gonzalez. Synopsis: This is a fun and heart- warming tale, where the misunderstood protagonist, the clown Priska, leaves her magical nose everywhere – and then forgets it. Luckily she has friends, the inhabitants of the Mediterranean Sea, who always give her a hand to find it. The session is accompanied by giant illustrations of the different protagonists of the story. Followed by a makeup workshop related to the story,

TUESDAY: A creative workshop with Núria Novell.

WEDNESDAY: Storytelling: La Reina de les Neus (The Queen of the Snows) with Jordina Biosca. Synopsis: Above the clouds, at the top of the sky, a wizard lived a long time ago: a malignant, hard, cruel and depraved sorcerer who deeply hated to see the beautiful things of the earth. For this reason, he decided that everything that was beautiful should become ugly, that everything that was sweet was fatal, that all the tender words become insults… And that was how it was. This synopsis is the beginning of La Reina de les Neus the classic central European story collected by Andersen. Kay and Gerda are the two protagonists. It is a sweet and precious story of overcoming, where Gerda is the absolute protagonist who rescues Kay from the ice cream kingdom of cold in the hands of the Queen of Snow.

THURSDAY: A Creative Workshop with Núria Novell. v Saturday, 2nd March from 17h – 19.30h at the Plaça de la Germandat. (Free. Activity for children and teens.) 17h. Search for the Carnival figure of Carnestoltes hidden in some corner of the parish. 19h Parade with Carnestoltes, the Witch Tecla and the Band of Geganters (giants’ supporters) of Sant Julià de L ria, enlivened by the Batucada drum band Toca-te’ls. 19:30h Opening oration and hanging of the Carnival figure of Carnestoltes. v Sunday, 3rd March from 17.30h – 23h in the streets of the parish. 17.30h Grand cavalcade, botifarrada barbecue and Fancy dress dance Grand Parade with the traditional lauredian costumes of Mace bearers, Snowmen, Demons and Wizards, and the Giants of Sant Julià de L ria, with the witch Tecla and the Big Heads.

Competition of floats and costumes. During the procession, floats and participating groups will be parading. 20:30h Popular botifarrada sausage barbecue in the Plaça de la Germandat. 21h Performance by the batucada drummers Toca-te’ls in the Plaça de la Germandat 21.30h Fancy dress dance with the group Doble Cara in the lobby of the Cultural and Congress Centre. At the end of the dance prizes will be handed out for the best floats and fancy dress costumes.

MONDAY: 4th at the Cultural and Congress Centre. 16h Carnival card competition for all ages at the Bar of the Cultural Centre. 17h Children’s entertainment show: Tutti frutti with the Toc de Retruc company in the Plaça de la Germandat. 19h Trial and burning of Carnestoltes


Friday, 1st March at 19.30h at Santa Maria del Fener, 1st floor, Andorra la Vella. Mans Unides: A Journey of Solidarity to Cameroon and Benin (in Catalan). Part of last year’s Andorran Mans Unides project presented by the president Meritxell Farrero who was accompanied by Angel Fernández. v Saturday, 2nd March at 11h a tour of the home of Els Rossell d’Ordino, starting from the box office at Casa d’Areny-Plandolit (Carrer Major, 9). A Cultural itinerary has been prepared to help us investigate the several properties owned by the Rossell family in Ordino. During the visit, some of the buildings that were included in the nucleus of family properties, such as the chapel, the great threshing floor, and the dovecot, will be opened, and some of the stories related to the family’s ancestry and to its most prominent members. The itinerary ends with the free visit to the temporary exhibition. This cultural itinerary is closely linked to the exhibition “The Rossell family, an interior look” .

v Saturday, 2nd March from 16h – 18h at the Museu Areny-Plandolit, Ordino. (6€. Limited places – 15 per session – in Catalan. Book [email protected] Tel. +376 836 908) The Enigma of the Writer, an Escape Game based on the moto of the Areny-Plandolit family and the novel, Last Summer in Ordino (1998), by Joan Peruga. The activity will allow you to get to know the history of one of the most important families in the country from an educational game. The game of Escape will pose an intellectual challenge to the participants, who will have to imagine themselves in the mind of Peruga while he wrote the novel. The participating group will have an hour to solve several challenges, while remembering the family history of the Plandolits: if you do not pass the tests, you will not find the key to leaving the house of Areny-Plandolit. It is recommended to have read the novel Last Summer in Andorra.


Saturday 2nd – Friday, 8th March at Arcalis, Ordino. World Freeride Tour (FWT) The FWT is the worldwide circuit of freeride snowboarding and skiing with the best riders in the world competing on the most legendary and challenging alpine faces and the most renowned ski resorts across the world.


An Introduction to Carnival or Carnestoltes. from the multifaceted book Andorra Revealed

There is no set date for this festival as it revolves around the date of the start of Lent, a movable fast that depends on the moveable feast of Easter.

This is typical as the first thing to realise is that there are no fixed rules about Carnival or Carnestoltes. Even the word Carnestoltes swirls with confusion. It can refer to Carnival itself or to King Carnestoltes who is a figure similar to Tudor England’s Lord of Misrule. He in turn can be a stuffed effigy, sometimes resembling a leading political figure, and strung up high above the main town square to oversee the revelries. But equally he can be an actor or singer dressed up in crazy clothes and in charge of leading days of rowdy carousing.

As well as traditional parades and fancy dress balls, each year Andorra’s comuns try to dream up something new. For example Encamp specialises in holding events at odd times: 4.05pm Trial of Smugglers followed by a sausage BBQ or 3.12am (sic) sweetmeats in the village hall. Carnestoltes (the actor) might open the festivities with a satirical speech singling out the key political events of the year, poking fun at government ministers or other important personages, never actually spelling out names but giving broad enough hints to keep the crowd chuckling. During the remaining days until Ash Wednesday he presides over masked balls, parades and all kinds of entertainments.

Finally in many parishes, on Shrove Tuesday, he, or the effigy, stands trial for bad behaviour and is sentenced to death. After reading his last will and testament – always permeated with the message to enjoy life to the full – the effigy is taken down and burned in the main square. (Happily the actor is more often ‘buried’). The Carnival King has become scapegoat for all the mayhem of Carnival. There follows the seven weeks of austerity and abstinence which is Lent.

Cultural Events is sponsored by the International Club of Andorra in support of Infants del Món.

Culturally yours,



Look for about the author of the blog Clare Allcard

See also Andorra travel guide

See also Pyrenees travel guide

See also France travel guide

See also Spain travel guide

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