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Event Category: Carnivals

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.

Rio Carnival

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!

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June 2019

Isle of Wight Mardi Gras 2019

June 29, 2019
Ryde Isle of WightPO332ERUnited Kingdom + Google Map
Isle of Wight Mardi Gras

Part of a packed programme of events held each year on the island to the south of England, this year the Isle of Wight Mardi Gras will have the theme,…

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October 2019

Limon Carnival Costa Rica 2019

October 12, 2019
Puerto Limon Puerto Limon,LimonCosta Rica + Google Map
Limon Carnival festivals in america

Costa Rica values its diversity and the Limon Carnival is probably the biggest party enjoyed by its Afro-Caribbean community. Held in Puerto Limon in the province of Limon, the carnival…

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January 2020

Kaapse Klopse (Cape Town Minstrel Carnival)

January 4
Green Point Stadium Cape Town,South Africa + Google Map
Free

The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, or Kaapse Klopse, is a festival held on 2 January each year, but in 2020 it is on 4 January. Also known as the Tweede Nuwe Jaar (or Second New Year...

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February 2020

Quebec Winter Carnival 2020

February 7 - February 16
Quebec City Quebec City,Canada + Google Map
Quebec Winter Carnival

Ever since 1955, the people of Quebec City have celebrated winter with the Quebec Winter Carnival. In 2006, over a million people attended the festival, making it the biggest winter…

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Venice Carnival (Carnevale di Venezia) 2020

February 8 - February 25
Venice Venice,Italy + Google Map
Venice Carnival carnivals 2019

Juxtapose one of the most beautiful cities in the world alongside one of the most colourful and exciting carnivals globally and it has to be a winning formula. Masked costumed…

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Carnaval de Nice (Nice Carnival) 2020

February 15 - February 29
Nice
Nice Carnival carnivals 2019

Set on the glamorous Cote d’Azure, the Nice Carnival (Carnaval de Nice) is one of the largest and most famous carnivals in the world. Many of the world’s top film…

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Carnaval Sitges (Sitges Carnival) 2020, Spain

February 18 - February 26
Sitges Sitges,CatalunyaSpain + Google Map
sitges carnival carnivals 2019

The Sitges Carnival (Carnaval Sitges) sees the Spanish coastal town brought to life with carnival fever as parties and parades take over the streets in the run-up to Lent. While…

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Santa Cruz Carnival de Tenerife 2020

February 19 - March 1
Santa Cruz Santa Cruz,TenerifeSpain + Google Map
carnivals around the world santa cruz carnival 2019

They sure know how to throw a fiesta in Spain, and the annual Santa Cruz Carnival (Carnaval de Santa Cruz de Tenerife) is a shining example of a 12-day pumping…

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Cologne Carnival (Fastelovend), 2020

February 20 - February 26
Cologne Cologne,Germany + Google Map
Cologne Carnival

The Cologne Carnival, Fastelovend or 'Fasteleer' in the local dialect is one of the biggest street carnivals in Europe. Starting on 20 February 2020, the 'Crazy Days' continue until 26…

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Rio Carnival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2020

February 21 - February 29
Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro,Brazil + Google Map
Rio Carnival

Rio Carnival in 2019 begins on 1 March in the afternoon and ends on 6 March when the last reveller flops to the floor. Locals know where to go and what to do; however, as...

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Panama Carnival (Panama Carnaval), 2020

February 21 - February 26
Panama City Panama City,Panama + Google Map
Panama Carnival

The Panama Carnival (or Carnaval in Spanish) is the biggest celebration of the year in the Central American nation. Here’s how it’s done. Bring your water pistol. During the day…

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Barranquilla Carnival 2020, Colombia

February 22 - February 25
Various areas of Barranquilla Barranquilla City,Colombia
Barranquilla Carnival Colombia

The sensational Barranquilla Carnival held in February in Colombia is the world’s second biggest fiesta with magnificent street parades, traditional dancers, lots of local...

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Carnaval de Binche 2020, Belgium

February 23 - February 25
All over town Binche,Belgium + Google Map
Carnaval de Binche

Eerie, identical wax masks, colossal ostrich plume hats, confetti in churches and orange throwing: the medieval Carnaval de Binche (or Carnival of Binche) is like no other in the world.…

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Battle of the Oranges, 2020, Ivrea, Italy

February 23 - February 25
Ivrea Ivrea,PiedmontItaly + Google Map
Italy Festivals Battle of the Oranges carnivals 2019

Referred to as the biggest food fight in Europe, the Battle of the Oranges takes over the town of Ivrea on the three days preceding Lent, from the Sunday to…

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Trinidad Carnival, Port of Spain 2020

February 24 - February 25
Port of Spain Port of Spain,Trinidad and Tobago + Google Map
trinidad carnival carnivals 2019

The World’s greatest party might be in Rio de Janeiro, but the Trinidad Carnival is a mix of centuries of tradition and solid fun, and is probably the most vibrant…

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New Orleans Mardi Gras 2020

February 25
New Orleans New Orleans,LAUnited States + Google Map
New Orleans Mardi Gras

New Orleans Mardi Gras or ‘Fat Tuesday’ is one of the biggest parties in the USA and very distinct from the Rio Carnival or the Trinidad Carnival, Port of Spain.…

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May 2020

Romerias de Mayo, Holguin, Cuba, 2020

May 3 - May 8
Holguin Holguin,Cuba + Google Map
Romerias de Mayo

A traditional religious parade Romerias de Mayo has added modern touches, with more than 45 artists from Mexico, Canada, France and, of course, Cuba. Six days of colourful parades and…

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