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Opodo Travel Blog
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It might be winter but that doesn’t mean the world is hibernating!  It’s that time of year when we all dress up to celebrate the popular tradition of Carnival. Whether you travel to Rio, Venice, Berlin or New Orleans, you’re sure to be swept up in a wave of celebration!

Discover our top 6 list of the most fabulous Carnivals in the world and find one that suits your travel preferences.

The Carnival of Venice

The Carnival of Venice is one of the oldest and most famous events in the world. In February, the “city of the Doges” comes to life as thousands of masked people participate in the festivities taking place between St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge. Join in the game and lose yourself in the midst of the disguised crowds as they take over the streets of Venice.
The Carnival of Venice
Enjoy a short stay in Mestre to get better acquainted with the “Serenissima”, the canals, gondolas, and the mysteriously romantic Venetian atmosphere…

Germany’s “Fifth Season”

In Germany, the “Fifth Season” Carnival is a grand celebration that officially begins in November but is celebrated by most in February, six weeks before Easter. The Rose Monday Parade, is when the Carnival madness is in full swing. Make sure you don’t miss it!

Germany's "Fifth Season"
Source: Martin Fisch via Compfight cc

If you have never been to Germany during Carnival season, we suggest you head over to Berlin; not only will you be at the heart of the “Fifth Season” festivities, but you will also get the chance to see spectacular sites such Potsdam, the Sanssouci castle and the famous Berlin Wall.

The Rio Carnival, a party where anything goes

Samba, colours, sun and loud music – Brazilians spend the entire year preparing themselves for the Rio Carnival. The week-long festival has some of the peppiest floats, the most extravagant costumes and the liveliest atmosphere. Many say you haven’t really partied until you’ve seen the Rio Carnival.

The Rio Carnival
Source: Luiz Fernando / Sonia Maria via Compfight cc

Rio de Janeiro is spectacular but Brazil is not a destination for a weekend. Take one or two weeks off and explore this fabulous country, starting with Salvador de Bahia – discover the colonial borrows, shop at the Modelo market, sample local culinary delights…you won’t be disappointed!

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Pearl necklaces everywhere, candy, colourful floats and jazzy music – Louisiana is pulling out all the stops for this year’s celebration.  If you are travelling to the US this month, don’t forget to stop in New Orleans to see the famous “Krewe of Houmas” parade. And while there, have a go at becoming the king or queen of the Carnival!

Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Source: sfmission.com via Compfight cc

Authentic and mysterious – the Carnival of Guadalupe

For an authentic and mysterious experience, we take you to Guadeloupe, where Vaval, a papier-mâché figure symbolizing Carnival, leads the crowd in a swirl of colour and music until Ash Wednesday. Vaval is burned at the end of the festivities, marking the end of Carnival and the beginning of Lent.

Carnival of Guadalupe
Source: josian8 via Compfight cc

The Carnival festivities of Quebec City

Quebec City organizes the biggest and most impressive winter Carnival ever seen. Tourists can look forward to a wide array of activities such as ice baths, snow sculpture and canoe racing. And if this doesn’t impress you, the night parade with its colourful floats, marching bands and decorations surely will!

Quebec City Carnival
Source: Jean-David & Anne-Laure via Compfight cc
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