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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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January 2020

Kaapse Klopse (Cape Town Minstrel Carnival)

January 4, 2020
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

Barranquilla Carnival 2020, Colombia

February 22, 2020 - February 25, 2020
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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May 2020

Romerias de Mayo, Holguin, Cuba, 2020

May 3, 2020 - May 8, 2020
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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December 2020

La Feria de Cali 2020 (Cali Fair), Colombia

December 25, 2020 - December 30, 2020
Various locations in Cali Santiago de Cali,Colombia
La Feria de Cali, Colombia

The annual Feria de Cali or Cali Fair in Colombia has grown into one of South America’s most important salsa festivals with fireworks, colourful parades, free music concerts...

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February 2021

Quebec Winter Carnival 2021

February 5 - February 14
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) 2021

February 6 - February 16
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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Santa Cruz Carnival de Tenerife 2021

February 10 - February 21
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), 2021

February 11 - February 16
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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Panama Carnival (Panama Carnaval), 2021

February 12 - February 17
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. The Panama Carnival…

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Carnaval de Nice (Nice Carnival) 2021

February 13 - February 27
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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New Orleans Mardi Gras 2021

February 16
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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