Carnevale di Venezia Carnevale di Venezia

Top 10 carnivals around the world this February

Get ready to party this February.

by 04 February 2016

Carnival is one of the few times of the year where it is not only acceptable, but it’s encouraged to spoil oneself with food, drinks and parties until 4am. Colour, laughter and music liven city streets all around the world. So shake yourself out of the winter blues with our global guide to carnival season...

Carnevale di Venezia

Venice: the one place in the world where there are more masks than people. Every corner you turn, there’s a shop or stand selling extravagant and colourful paraphernalia to satisfy all of your carnevale needs. St. Mark’s Square is bustling with mask makers, weavers, tailors and glass-makers where the public can view the workers in their workshops. The final weekend is the best time to visit. Carnevale di Venezia, Venice, Italy, 23 January - 9 February, www.carnevale.venezia.it

Rio Carnivalrio-carnival

The largest and most famous carnival in the world where the streets come alive with bands and celebrations downtown. Go to a party on Cordão do Bola Preta, join in on one of Ipanema’s street band’s performances and enjoy the Samba Parade. Get your dancing shoes ready and attend a samba night at a school. If you plan on visiting Rio for carnival, be sure to book flights and accommodations well in advance. Rio Carnival, Rio de Jeneiro, Brazil, 5-9 February, 2016 www.rio-carnival.net

Mardi Gras New Orleans, United StatesMardi-Gras

Let’s face it; the best part about all of these carnivals is the food (they don’t call it 'fat Tuesday' for nothing). If you’re in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, you absolutely have to try a king cake, or you’re just doing carnival completely wrong. These baked goods are essentially baked Danish dough smothered in purple, gold and green sugar toppings. It’s also customary to flash people in exchange for beaded necklaces, as you do... Mardi Gras New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 9 February, 2016 www.mardigrasneworleans.com

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, CaribbeanTrinidad-and-Tobago-Carnival

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival kicks off at 4am with J’Ouvert where you can let your inhibitions free and douse yourself in chocolate, mud, oil and paint. Vibrant colours, costumes and calypso, soca (genre of calypso music) and chutney music fill the streets. Steel band music has become extremely popular thanks to carnival. Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 8-9 February, 2016 www.ncctt.org

Maslenitsa, Moscow Carnival, Russiamoscow-carnival

Maslenitsa, which roughly translates as 'butter week', is a celebration that occurs all over Russia, but is most noteworthy in the capital of Moscow. One of traditions of Maslenitsa is to share blini with family and friends and pile them with butter, honey and jam or sour cream, mushrooms and caviar. Besides eating pancakes, the week is broken down into different rituals for each day including carrying a straw-stuffed figure of winter around the village and “zaigrysh” (game day). Maslenitsa or Moscow Carnival, Moscow, Russia, 6-13 March, 2016 www.russiapedia.rt.com

Goa Carnaval, Indiagoa

What separates Goa Carnaval from the rest of the world’s greatest carnivals is that you don’t need a ticket or invitation and it’s more laidback. You won’t need your most elegant gown to fit in at this carnival, just your most comfortable pair of shoes. During this carnival, King Momo, also known as the king of chaos, makes his way through the streets of Panajj telling people to “eat, drink and make merry.” Well, if you say so king Momo. Goa Carnaval, Goa, India, 6-9 February, 2016 www.goatourism.gov.in

Carnaval de Quebeccarnevale-de-quebec-2

Every year, Canadians gets more snow than they know what to do with. So, what better way to deal with being snowed-in for the entire winter than having a carnival centred around it? If you love winter sports and activities, this is the perfect party for you. Carnaval de Quebec offers snow sculpture competitions, canoe and dogsled races and the Charlesbourg night parade. Carnaval de Quebec is great for the entire family and has activities everyone will love. Carnaval de Quebec, Quebec, Canada, 29 January - 14 February, 2016 www.carnaval.qc.ca

Nice Carnaval de Nicenice-carnival

Floats, flowers and lights fill the streets of Nice during Carnaval. Eighteen floats representing the year’s theme and various figurines make up a colourful parade, illuminating the city. During the flower parade, costumed models throw hundreds and thousands of flowers into the crowd. The magic of this fifteen day carnival distracts you from the dark winter and immerses you into a fairy tale. Nice Carnaval or Carnaval de Roi De La Musique, Nice, France, 13-28 February, 2016 www.nicecarnaval.com

Santa Cruz de Tenerife CarnavalSanta-Cruz-de-Tenerife-Carnaval

One of the biggest events of Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival is the gala to elect the Carnival Queen. The candidates show off their most glamorous outfits and once the queen is selected, the carnival is kicked off with a celebratory parade. Over the next few days, the event consists of singing and dancing. The celebration comes to a close with “el Corso,” a magnificent parade, and “Piñata Chica” including more dancing, shows and parades. Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnaval, Tenerife, Canary Islands, 3-14 February, 2016 www.carnavaldetenerife.com

Basler Fastnacht, Basel, SwitzerlandBasler-Fastnacht

If you're looking for something a bit more free and easy head to the Basel Carnival. In this Swiss city traditional Gugge music is performed in organised and unorganised groups for spectators to follow along with. The parade consists of more than 10,000 masked carnival members with strange accessories. Basler Fastnacht or Carnival of Basel, Basel, Switzerland, 15-17 February, 2016 www.fasnachts-comite.ch