Generally, the choice of the perfect place to celebrate these holidays becomes complicated, as there is a wide variety of places that offer majesty and splendor at the same time as sightseeing and enjoyment. Therefore, in this article, I present the greatest 7 Places to Celebrate Carnival 2019, so you won't miss this incredible festival!
The Brazilian Carnival is one of the most famous in the world, specifically those that take place in the city of Rio de Janeiro. That is why every year, thousands of people dancing to the beat of the samba (a popular musical genre created in Brazil and usually heard during these festivities) meet at the famous Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí in the city of Cidade Nova.
"The carnivals of Rio de Janeiro are known worldwide for their cheerful and organized troupes" (Source: Pixabay)
The Carnival season officially begins with the "Galo da Madrugada" party, where countless people go out to the center of the city dressed up to dance until dawn. Definitely, Carnival is the most important event of the year.
The preparations for the celebration of Carnival begin many months in advance, not to mention that throughout the year, a large number of people practice in the famous samba schools distributed throughout the nation and which are prepared to be awarded each year during the carnivals. These are responsible for creating a plot to the sound of the Brazilian Samba, with their respective costumes and colorful floats adding to the theme chosen for the year.
It is for this reason that celebrities such as Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as other known personalities of the world, have made it their decision to enjoy this magnificent show. This year, this event is held from March 1st to March 9th.
Every year, before Lent, the main celebration of Trinidad and Tobago begins. The carnivals of Port of Spain are well known since they are the largest in the Caribbean. Like their South American compatriots (Brazilians), the inhabitants of this country are prepared with a lot of time in advance, to be able to stand out and measure up in the most important celebration of the year.
"This is the real spirit of Carnival!" (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
What strikes the attention of the Carnival of Trinidad and Tobago is that as a prelude to the famous main parades held on Mondays and Tuesdays, the following events are held:
The Children's Carnival is one of the first parades presented in the season. Hundreds of children of all ages (including preschool and young adolescents), show their most beautiful and creative outfits to the public to be part of the carnival fever.
It is a parade that takes place in Port of Spain, under an inclement sun along Queen's Savannah Park. Hundreds of people in a group or individually show their costumes and disguises to the jury, to decide who are the lucky ones to win the different awards, among them, the famous coronation of the Calypso Monarchs (King and Queen), considered a prize honorable for the inhabitants of that city.
It is a super fun street party, held as a ceremony where locals and tourists celebrate dancing calypso and soca until dawn. Traditionally, at this party the participants smear paint, mud, oil, etc., all over their body, representing the "Jab Jabs". You will also find several "Jab Molassie", which are naughty imps that annoy and chasten the Jab Jabs.
Moving away from the "comparsa" (dancing parade) movements of the American countries, there are the historical, luxurious and sophisticated Carnivals of Venice, one of the oldest in the world whose first celebration oscillates around the 1300s. They take place over two weeks. Between the months of January and February, within which there is a series of additional celebrations that popularly spread through the Venice squares.
“The carnivals of Venice are characterized by luxurious and ornate white masks” (Source: Pixabay)
Formerly this was a festival in which the beauty of the 12 most beautiful maidens of the region was venerated, this as a symbolic act to celebrate the rescue of 12 virgins kidnapped by pirates (although this story according to many is just a myth). The fact is that this event has evolved into a female beauty contest exhibiting the best period costumes.
The show takes place in the famous St Mark's Campanile, from where a person dressed as an angel, usually an artist or famous person, descends by a rope to the square where the crowd is; this person, when they reach the middle of the road, throws confetti, candies and small gifts for the public.
This festival, known in Italian as La Festa Veneziana Sull’acqua, takes place on the Cannaregio Canal, where an extraordinary exhibition of spectacular floating structures takes place, where floats made in boats and gondolas are the attention of the public.
The Carnival par excellence of the USA is the one that takes place in New Orleans every year from the 18th century. Also known as the Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), is one of the most famous carnivals in the world, and is that in addition to being considered the greatest free show on earth, represents the diversity, culture and contrast from all ethnic groups that they have participated in its evolution.
"A new definition for -big-headed-" (Source: Pixabay)
Just as the date of Easter varies every year, so does Mardi Gras, but it is always celebrated between February 3 and March 9. It is a show full of parties, floats, parades and mask dances, which increase in quantity and intensity as the Carnival week approaches.
The Mardi Gras of New Orleans is fun, party and out of control. By day, by night, in houses, in hotels, on the banks of the Mississippi, before, during and after Mardi Gras itself. Obviously, the necklaces are a classic that began as crystals and now are made up of plastic balls for budgetary reasons, but the tradition remains exactly the same.
Carnival is one of the biggest parties celebrated by the inhabitants of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, full of rhythm, color, luxury and above all great shows. It is a celebration that lasts fifteen days and brings joy, freedom, and imagination to the area and its inhabitants.
"Get out of the way, this is really heavy!" (Source: Pixabay)
One of its main attractions is the election of the queen of the holidays, on Wednesday during the first week of the celebration. This is a contest full of glamor, style, and luxury.
After the reign, Friday gives rise to the Carnival Announcer Cavalcade, in which an extensive number of people and musical groups that walk the streets for hours, forming a unique multicolored snake of joy and impudence. During the next three days, fun and music take over the city with strong performances of Carnival ensembles, which, through the lyrics of songs full of insight and sarcasm, reflect the social and political reality with a lot of sense of humor.
The next appointment is on Carnival Tuesday, at the Coso del Carnaval Parade (which is also called "Coso Apoteosis") where musical groups, comparsas, murgas, Queens of the Carnival, floats, spontaneous disguises... all of these unite to the beat of Caribbean rhythms.
And you can not miss the Burial of the Sardine, a festival that announces the infamous End of the Carnival, in which its spirit, represented by the sardine, roams the streets in a chariot, to end up burning in flames before the grief of the "tearful" court of widows, widowers and mourners who accompany her.
But the real final closure will be with the celebration of the Piñata Chica during the weekend, with performances, festivals and parades. It is advised, if you decide to visit Tenerife this Carnival, to make your preparations in advance as this is one of the most requested tourist destinations for its spectacular offer of fun and joy.
The Carnival of Binche is one of the most renowned festivals in the country, and is celebrated in the month of February. This Carnival is recognized as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity as it is potentially important from the cultural, social and personal point of view for both the city and its inhabitants.
"What the hell?!" (Source: Pixabay)
These celebrations are held on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent. However, the previous days you can witness and enjoy cultural events on the streets, such as concerts, marches and dance acts, which are a prelude to the main days.
The Carnival Tuesday represents the most significant day of the Carnival of Binche, because the Gilles go out for a walk, which are characters that can be compared to clowns and that go with beautiful and elaborate dresses, wax masks and shoes made of wood, with the intention to dance to the rhythm of drums and to chase away the evil spirits with their canes.
Then, that same day, the Gilles appear with huge hats and baskets with oranges, which they throw to the public and which are symbols of good luck. In the parade you can also see other characters such as harlequins wearing colorful costumes and peasants wearing more austere clothing than the Gilles, all entertaining the public.
The Cologne Carnival, also known as "The Fifth Season of the Year," is the most famous and spectacular carnival in Germany. It represents a unique cultural event because unlike many others, it does not start in the month of February but on November 11 at 11:11 in the morning announcing the beginning of one of the most anticipated celebrations. It's a party that overflows a multitude of bright colors, floats, and parades that fill the streets with an incredibly festive atmosphere.
On Carnival Thursday there is one of the greatest events: the Weiberfastnacht; where the women dress up and go to their jobs with many scissors to snatch the tie from anyone who crosses their path. This custom represents the equality that is established during the Carnival turning the girls into the queens of this festival, receiving the keys of the city from the hands of the mayor.
“A group of disguised enthusiasts marches through the streets of Cologne, full of city dwellers and tourists” (Source: Pixabay)
On Saturday the famous "Frühschoppen" (Early Drink) is celebrated, people gather at the Funken Biwak, in Neumarkt, at 10:30 am. The city is full of figures named "Jecken" that incite to live the carnival, the celebrations last all night.
A large part of the population believes that the most important day of Carnival is the Monday of the Roses (better known as "Rosenmontag"), where everyone disguises and accompanies the parades that pass through every corner of the city. From the floats, they throw candy, chocolates and confetti that flood the sky with carnivalesque colors and songs.
Carnival Wednesday is dedicated to the burning of the evil Nubbel, who is the culprit of all the lack of control that occurs during Carnival and its burning makes everything that happened during Carnival stay in Carnival.
While it is true that Carnival is one of the most important festivals in the world, celebrating it in one of these paradisiacal destinations makes it a wonder impossible to describe, because each region has a unique personality for its celebration.
So if you still have no plans for these festivities, then start making your preparations; these 7 places await you and if you have already been in any of these, you can tell us about your experience here in the comments:
Have you ever enjoyed the experience of Carnival in any of these destinations?
Where have you spent the most memorable carnivals of your life?
Tell us - and don't forget to Subscribe!
My name is Laurys, and I'm a Chemical Engineer living in Venezuela. A lover of great music, good science, and an interesting book, I love learning about new cultures across the planet and discovering new languages and people. I've been a freelancer since 2008, and my career has only grown since then. I want to help others see the world through the eyes of freelancers, which is why I'm part of Begin Wandering!