February is carnival time and you can tour the entire planet visiting the best carnivals in the world. From Italy to Brazil through Belgium or Bolivia. Choose your destination and dance until you can no longer move.
1. Carnival of Ivrea, Italy
Famous throughout Italy and abroad, if you visit Ivrea during the carnival, you must be ready to be hit by one or two oranges… at least. Over several days you will be able to see the parades of the Molinera, the General, the Napoleonic Staff with its officers on horseback and many more. The highlight is the famous Battle of Oranges, which represents the civil war between the citizens and the army. The people dedicate themselves to throwing oranges at the government representatives, who go by car. In addition, the Molinera distributes candies, sweets and gifts to the attendees.
(The Molinera is a local figure that represents an antique miller owner).
2. Carnival of Viareggio, Italy
The Carnival of Viareggio is one of the most important in Italy and one of the best carnivals in the world. This typically quiet Tuscan town transforms into Carnival and welcomes a million visitors willing to enjoy the parades. Large f paper mache figures, more than 20 meters high, march through the city. They depicture all sorts of characters from politicians to movie stars, to dragons and all kinds of animals.
3. Carnival of Venice, Italy
Possibly the most elegant Carnival in the world, the Carnival of Venice is the paradise of masks, ornate costumes, wigs and the art of deception among canals, gondolas and millenary buildings. Here everything is done with class and the Venetians take it very seriously. So if you want to participate, hurry up and buy a ticket for the great Mask Dance. To taste a hint of the atmosphere, take a look at one of the creepiest short stories ever: The cask of Amontillado, by Edgard Allan Poe. But do not worry, The carnival in Venice is just good fun.
4. Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
We can not go away without mentioning the Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in this list of best carnivals in the world. It stands out for the Queen and the Drag Queen of Carnival competitions. The murgas and the comparsas fill the streets at the rhythm of batucada. It is an infallible guarantee of some lack of control, party and fun in the sun.
5. Carnival of Binche, Belgium
The Carnival of Binche, in Belgium, is “Intangible and Oral Heritage of Humanity” according to UNESCO and is something just incredible. That´s why it appears in our best carnivals of the world list. Every year the locals (also called “Gilles”) walk around making a racket through the city wearing some rather odd masks and shaking some canes to ward off evil spirits. Be careful with them, because they like to throw oranges at the public!
6. Carnival of Oruro, Bolivia
The Oruro Carnival is the largest annual event in Bolivia. Basically, the festival tells the story of the triumph of good over evil through a great theatrical parade that lasts 20 hours: the Diablada. In the end, they put out the fire with a great water fight on the Water Day.
7. Carnival of Trinidad and Tobago
The Carnival of Trinidad and Tobago is the Caribbean carnival par excellence. The streets fill up with music bands, soca, limbo, calypso and a lot of rum. Herre, the spirit of the Caribbean is celebrated in style on the tropical island of Trinidad, right next to Venezuela. The parades of costumes and dance are filled with colour, music and flavour. So if you want a Carnival with rhythm and you do not feel like going to Brazil, this is your best choice.
8. Mardi Gras in New Orleans, United States
The Mardi Gras of New Orleans is the North American version of the Carnival and it is a party of great proportions. Like almost everything in the United States. There are many river parades and costumes but the essence of the party is that the attendees get drunk and disguise (then undress) while throwing candies and necklaces of coloured beads. This is not only one of the best carnivals in the world, but also one of the most mysterious also.
9. Notting Hill Carnival, London, England
Although outside the usual schedule, it is celebrated in August, the Notting Hill Carnival in London is a great costume party in the middle of summer. This great parade is a typical celebration of the Caribbean community of the city. Two million people dance through the streets of West London to the rhythm of the music. If you are in London in August do not miss it.
10. Carnival of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The mother of all Carnivals is in Brazil. Samba, colours, warmth and lots of fun. The city of Rio de Janeiro transforms those days to give the best of itself. The most colourful costumes and the best dance steps are reserved for the multitudinous parade in the Sambadrome, where the samba schools of the city compete and show themselves. Get your ticket for the Rio de Janeiro Carnival as soon as possible or you will miss it.
Do you want to travel and enjoy any of the best carnivals in the world? Give us a call and we will do our best to get you there just in time!