In February the Mardi Gras season begins in a lot of destinations around the world. Here is a selection of the most iconic Carnivals to help you choose which suits you best.
Rio de Janeiro Carnival: An unmissable parade
Samba dancer by @KateMcKenna
The most iconic Carnival in the world is of course the one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It became famous with its Samba Parade, a show and contest between the Rio samba schools.
This huge party takes place with different events over 4 days. This year the Rio Carnival starts on Saturday, February 18th and ends on Fat Tuesday, February 21.
Tickets to most balls will cost you around U$70 to U$150
Venice Carnival: The traditional masked ball
If you want to feel like you’re in the 17th century, you have to experience the spectacular Venice carnival from the 11th to the 21st of February 2012. It requires a bit of preparation for those who want to do it in the traditional way. The indispensable accessory is of course the Venetian Mask that you can buy or prepare yourself to create your own character. This year the theme will be Life is theater! It’s time to get masked! This represents a return to the real origins of the Venice Carnival.
Nice Carnival: Magic for parents and children
Nice Carnaval Characters by By @olivier.capel
The Nice Carnaval is the main winter event on the French Riviera and one of the largest carnivals in the world. Big parades will be organized day and night under the theme “King of Sport” in reference to 2012 London Olympics, from 17th February to 4th March 2012. This Carnival is especially aimed at children. Don’t miss the legendary “flower battles” on La promenade des Anglais.
€10 entrance fee for adults and €5 for children
Budget Tip: Free entrance to Place Masséna for people in fancy-dress for the Carnival Parade and the Parade of lights
Cologne Carnival: A German icon
Cologne Carnival by By @*** Harold R ***
From the 16th to the 22nd of February, the city of Cologne turns wild and lets Carnival spirit invade locals and tourists. The street carnival, also called “the crazy days”, takes place between the Thursday before Rose Monday (Women’s Carnival Day) and Ash Wednesday.
Tenerife Carnival: The second biggest in the world
The Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival is the second largest in the world. One of the most important events is the election of the Carnival Queen which is a display of amazing and expensive dresses. It will take place from the 15th to the 25th of February and this year’s theme will be 60s flower power.
Carnival Queen election entrance fee: €10
Sitges Carnival: An amazing show in Catalunya
Carnaval dancers in by @calafellvalo
Carnival is a fun time to visit Sitges, the gay-friendly city 100km to the south of Barcelona famous as a party town. All day and all night from the 16th to the 22nd the streets welcome thousands of artists. “Fat Thursday” marks the beginning of carnival with a gargantuan celebration of local dishes. The busiest days are Sunday and Tuesday, when the local carnival guilds parade down the Rúa del Extermini in decorated carriages, sporting some amazingly kitsch, razzle-dazzle outfits.
Sydney Carnival: Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras
2010 Sydney Mardi gras parade by @andy_tyler
Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, which takes place from February 12ththrough to March 4th is the most important Gay event of the season. It is open to everyone that wants to experience concerts, parties, fashion shows, DJs, artists, activists, drag queens, and after parties in Australia’s biggest city. Promising a Mardi Gras Party like no other before, 2012 will see the Entertainment Quarter transformed into a theme park – Mardigrasland.
basic price for Mardigrasland Party: $136.30