Carnival is a perfect time to take a trip and learn how other cultures celebrate the big event that lasts anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Whether you’re looking for floats, elaborate costumes, masquerades, or a winter wonderland, there is a Carnival for you somewhere in the world. Below we bring you 6 of the most well-known Carnivals in the world with more information about when the festivities begin and an insider’s tip if you plan on going.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Official name: Rio Carnaval
Rio Carnival 2014 dates: Friday, February 28 – Tuesday, March 4
Insider’s tip: Don’t miss the samba parades in the Sambadrome.
Carnival of Venice
Official name: Carnevale di Venezia
Carnival of Venice dates 2014: Saturday, February 22 – Tuesday, March 4
Insider’s tip: Don’t miss the fireworks show on the last day of Carnival. Fireworks are set off from Saint Mark’s Square, but you will be able to see them from nearly anywhere in Venice.
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Official name: Mardi Gras New Orleans
Mardi Gras 2014 dates: Friday, February 28 – Tuesday, March 4
Insider’s tip: If you want to attend a Krewe Ball (private formal ball) you need to purchase tickets in advance.
Official name: Kölner Karneval
Cologne Carnival 2014 dates: Thursday, February 27 – Tuesday, March 4
Insider’s tip: Attend the “Kölsche Aape Sitzung”, one of the biggest parties in Cologne during Karneval.
Carnival of Basel
Official name: Basler Fasnacht
Carnival of Basel 2014 dates: Monday, March 10 – Thursday, March 13
Insider’s tip: The festivities begin at 4 am on Monday morning so be sure to get a good night’s sleep beforehand.
Official name: Carnaval de Nice
Nice Carnival 2014 dates: Friday, February 14 – Tuesday, March 4
Insider’s tip: Don’t miss the Bataille de Fleurs parade, where floats made completely of flowers promenade through the city throwing 100,000+ flowers to the crowd.
Will you be attending a Carnival celebration this year?