Just the sound of the word carnival makes you want to dance. Traditionally – but not always – carnivals mark the period before Lent in the Christian calendar, as the last day you could party. In addition to dancing, partying and consuming lots of food participants dress up in costumes or don masks and join massive parades.
The biggest and most famous carnival in the world is the Rio Carnival. One enormous party, it has become a victim of its own success, with a lack of accommodation in the Brazilian city as well as inflated prices and potential crime.
Carnivals around the World
But despair not, Rio is not the only city to carnival. Indeed, elsewhere in Latin America many a place has its own carnival, at roughly the same time as Rio, often with less crowds but with just the same amount of fun. You might prefer trying the Barranquilla Carnival, Limon Carnival in Costa Rica, the Panama Carnival or the Trinidad Carnival.
Carnivals in Europe
However, nowhere is the carnival more celebrated than in Europe. The Sitges Carnival is LGBT friendly, while the Venice Carnival is the place to go if you like making a masquerade of yourself. Elsewhere there are carnivals from Cologne to Nice and even in Santa Cruz in the Canary Islands. For a peculiarly Belgian take on the celebration, why not head to the Carnaval Binche and enjoy some of he excellent beer at the same time.
Carnivals in London
Not all carnivals are held in the build up to Lent. In London, the Notting Hill Carnival takes place in the last weekend in August, which is also a bank holiday weekend. A celebration of the Afro-Caribbean community in London, this is the biggest party in the UK capital’s calendar, with great music, non-stop party fever and copious quantities of rum.
Best Carnivals in the World
If all this sounds too much, then you can always try our selection of the best carnivals around the world. Enjoy!