The carnivals are celebrated in Portugalete with dances, masquerades and different amusements, like many other urban Basque municipalities. But at the same time, there are some traditions that make them different. In writings of last centuries, we can find references to the Carnival celebrations in the town of Portugalete. But we must recognize that unless the act of "Burial of the Sardine", the rest of their structure has changed over the time.
It is in the last decade when the carnival has consolidated a pattern of acts that have been seeping into the feelings of the jarrilleros, which, year after year, mark the Carnival on the festive local calendar as one of their points of reference. The main event is the Parade and Disguises Contest of troupes and gangs (comparsas y cuadrillas) that goes along the same route of San Roque’s day, filling with color and joy the locality. Each year the imagination and occurrences of the participants overcome the achieved in previous years.
Inside the remaining acts of the Carnival: infantile dance, performances of well-known artists, and so on. The celebration that attracts attention of all the visitors, in Wednesday of Ash, is the "Burial of the Sardine" on the streets of the Old Town, act which its symbolism and development is considered unique in the Basque Country.
A large group of fishermen, dressed with their yellow suits of water and their boat hooks (bicheros), follow the light of a lantern, escort to the sound of the ringing a bell, the coffin of the sardine. During its development, it is sung "The Burial of the Sardine" song of popular origin, melody that thrills all the Portugalete’s people that watch this affectionate act