The Carnival around the World
Carnival is one of the most celebrated events in the world. Originally a pagan event, it was later included in the Christian calendar-marking the days leading up to Lent-and today it has very different manifestations, but all of them have one fundamental thing in common: festivities. At the next Carnival, why not choose to travel to a festive destination?
Brazil is almost synonymous with Carnival. A real industry in the country, involving spectacular productions that take a whole year to prepare with results nothing less than magnificent. Rio de Janeiro's one is the largest in the world according to Guinness World Records and is also an important economic engine for the city due to the number of jobs it generates and the volume of tourists it attracts. The Rio Carnival is unique, but it is not the only one. Throughout the country, Carnival is celebrated and is the most popular party in Brazil. Recife and Olinda, for example, have the largest carnival block in the world - the Galo da Madrugada - with Frevo, the traditional rhythm of the region, dominating the soundscape. Also Salvador, in Bahia, has its own Carnival, with music and dance to local rhythms such as axé, samba-raggae and arrocha. These are just some examples. In fact, every city, big or small, populous or not so much, has its way of celebrating Carnival in Brazil, with all the diversity that makes up the largest country in Latin America.
Venice - timeless beauty behind a mask
Carnival is celebrated all over the world, but the one in Venice is special and iconic, to say the least. The masks and costumes so typical of Venice, along with the incredible scenery of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, give the Carnival a unique energy, only possible to describe by those who have been there and only accessible in the dreams of those who have not yet been. The extravagant Carnival of Venice is one of the business cards of this magnificent Italian city. Watch the parades and find out who wins the best mask contest, go to a masquerade, a classical concert, or even a bar, always in disguise. Enjoy the street performances and look for the most restricted events. The experience will be unique.
Germany - Cologne in Winter and Berlin in Summer
It is known as "the fifth season of the year" and is celebrated all over the country. The German Carnival season officially begins on November 11 at 11:11 am, with festivities starting 40 days before the beginning of Lent. Cologne hosts the most celebrated Carnival in all of Germany. During the "crazy days", streets, squares, bars, restaurants and other places are filled with crowds of locals and properly dressed tourists, music, dance and, at last, a lot of excess. For six days, normal life is suspended. If Cologne is already a place to visit, at Carnival it becomes an absolute must-see. In Berlin, the Carnival of Cultures is celebrated, an event that celebrates the diversity and multicultural spirit of the German capital. This Carnival is a big party, just like all the others, with similar music, food and fun- but what makes it unique is that it happens in June. Open to all people and all cultural expressions, it is a true celebration of human diversity with all its cultural manifestations. This means the city is filled everywhere with art, music, food and color for four days, with concerts, street markets, culinary and artistic demonstrations, and the grand parade that takes place every year on Pentecost Sunday, 50 days after Easter.
Carnival in Nice is one of the best known and oldest in the world, with records of celebrations dating from the 13th century. With the French Riviera as its stage, the carnival is undoubtedly a high season for visiting the city, and to the entire region, which welcomes for two weeks this magnificent event and receives an average of one million people each year. Day parades and parades at night, flowers in the air, fireworks, lots of people and little moderation - after all, it's Carnival! - These are just a few reasons to board this flight to Nice.
Tenerife - celebrate in paradise
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital of the largest island in the Canary Islands, is Rio de Janeiro's twin sister. This curious fact could be, from the outset, an indicator of the size of the Carnival festivities on this island. And what a dimension! Carnival in Tenerife receives crowds every year that share a common goal: having fun. Over the course of several days, the difficulty lies in choosing. There are musical groups - murgas, comparsas and rondallas - throughout the city to show what they are made out of. There are contests to elect the Carnival Queens. There are parties and more parties, as well as the big parade. On the first day of Lent, there is still the "Burial of the Sardine", officially closing the celebrations. All this on a paradise Atlantic island.
Basel - UNESCO World Heritage Site
"The three most beautiful days of the year". This is how the locals refer to the Basler Fasnacht, the Basle Carnival. This is possibly the most European of the great carnivals, having in 2017 conquered the category of Intangible Heritage of Humanity, awarded by UNESCO. It happens a week after the date it is celebrated in the vast majority of countries. Basel is a unique city in Europe, considered also the cultural capital of Switzerland. Rich in traditions and with a unique aesthetic, this city's Carnival is easily distinguishable from the vast majority of carnivals around the world. The huge lanterns that illuminate the corso on the night of carnival are hand-painted, each one with its own theme, transforming the streets of the city into a colorful and illuminated sea to the sound of flute music and percussive drums. Definitely an experience not to be missed.
Portugal - to the north, to the south and in the islands
The Portuguese Carnival is not really like that of Rio de Janeiro, Bahia or Venice, but it also has its charms. The party begins on the Friday that precedes Carnival and ends on Tuesday of Carnival. Of the many corsos and parades that take place all over the country, special attention should be given to the Torres Vedras (fly to Lisbon), self-entitled "the most Portuguese Carnival in Portugal", the one in Madeira, from where the immigrants who took the fashion of Carnival to Brazil left, and the very sui generis Festival of Caretos de Podence in the north of the country (fly to Porto). Count on parties in almost every bar and night club, and do not be surprised when you see masked people on the street making trouble. Choose a mask, enter the spirit of the revelers and have fun... without forgetting the motto: it's Carnival, anything goes!