Finding a bigger party than a carnival can be likened a to a Heracles labour. Those parties are simply epic with an electrifying atmosphere, it easy to understand why they make Animal House seem like Harry’s House. You need to add at least a single visit to one of these carnivals to your bucket list…
The Quebec Winter Carnival – Canada
Despite the fact that Canada is known for its frosted and punishing winters, the fun loving Canadians still know how to have an awesome time. The Quebec Winter Carnival is world famous and is a festival that is held from February 1 to 17. It has a lot of ice sculptures, dog sledding, canoe races, snowboarding and immense partying. One of its many highlight is a massive masquerade ballroom at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, a grand hotel. One thing is for sure, partying is nonstop and good times are the order of the day.
The Carnival of Venice – Italy
Apparently this festival dates all the way back to the 11th century so its partying lineage is extra-long. In those days, masks were outlawed. Festival goers don a mask and costume and parade through the city and let loose as a build-up to Lent. Scores of local and foreign revelers frequent this carnival, each year to partake in the immense festivities. You can expect an abundance of lagoon parades, concerts and firework with up to three million people attendees.
The Nice Carnival – France
There is a lot more to the French than wine and frog legs. Don’t believe me? Then check out the Nice Carnival on the French Riviera – a kaleidoscope of the spectacular, enchanting and awesome. The event is over 15 days long and features a host of colourful parades (consisting of floral floats and extravagantly dressed characters) over 1000 singers and dancers provide entertainment to the masses. The festival runs from February 15 to March 6, is nothing short of awesome and can be likened to a real life fairy-tale.
The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival – Trinidad and Tobago
Here is another brilliant carnival with a Caribbean twist. The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is an annual event that also occurs prior to Lent. There are several musical competitions that make up a major part of the carnival. Revelers gyrate to the calypso sound of drums, claves and steelpans. There are immense episodes of rum fueled partying which lasts an entire week. It originated in the 1700s when slaves would hold secret parodies of the French plantation owners’ masquerade balls. The locals wear outlandish feathered and sequinned costumes and strut their stuff in groups. The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival has spurned imitators in other parts of the world but the real mccoy cannot be trumped.
Cologne Carnival – Germany
Germany’s Cologne Carnival is known to get pretty loud and crazy laden with copious amounts of fun. It begins at 11 minutes past 11 on November 11 and finishes on Ash Wednesday. Immense partying on the streets and in pubs is the order of the day. Regular operating hours of pubs are suspended throughout the course of the Cologne Carnival. Locals as well as enthusiastic tourists celebrate by decking out in fancy-dress outfits and attending masked balls. Rose Monday is the highlight of the event, truly a sight for sore eyes and a colourful parade with over a million spectators in attendance!
Mardi Gras – U.S
New Orleans in America is world renown for Cajun cuisine, jazz and Mardi Gras. It is a time for romance, music and unbridled revelry. The city hosts a massive parade with attendees dressing in gaudy, ludacris and downright outrageous costumes. The event initially began as a self-thrown party by the city, and it has snowballed into one of the world biggest carnivals and is a massive tourist attraction. With more than 60 parades and hundreds of private parties, dances and masked balls, you can expect a lot of craziness. Incredibly, Mardi Gras generates nearly half a million dollars for the New Orleans economy.
The Rio Carnival – Brazil
While the other carnivals on this list are nothing short of epic, the Rio Carnival is definitely the mother of all carnivals. There are few better sights than scantily clad women gyrating to samba beats. Each parader has a distinct purpose and is placed according to costume. To take in the full experience of the carnival, it is advised that you march with a samba school. Each year, the schools follow a different theme. The country’s most elites samba schools battle it out for top honours. They build some incredible floats which adds to the awesome spectacle. The sight of several thousand hot women clad in high heels and feathers battling for the title of Queen of the Carnival is certainly a sight for sore eyes.