The burning of the King and Queen of the Carnival signals the ending of the celebrations in Tarragona in a dark and spectacular display of fire and deprecating speeches.
Plaça de la Font, in front of the Town Hall, is where the Tarragona Carnival comes to it’s apocalyptic conclusion. Effigies of the grotesque King and Queen are brought in and propped against a pire. The Bull, Dragon, Vibria and hordes of devils accompany their last journey with a earth shattering display of firecrackers and flares which almost seem to explode within. The air fills with acrid smoke and revelers join the mayhem where the devil dance almost in a state of trance.
On a podium a speaker recites sharp and and anarchic verses condemning the greed, dishonesty and arrogance of those in power while the audience gathered around listens sympathetic. The drums start again and the King and Queen are set on fire. No one weeps – these two deserve no compassion as they represented everything that is wrong with society. And so they burn, twisting and consumed by the flames as the devils enter their final dance.
The fire dies, the ember glow, the carnival ends with the first stroke midnight when the mournful sounds of bells from the Cathedral announce the beginning of Lent.