Carnival season is upon us and whether you are in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, or South America,there is no shortage of celebrations happening all around the world. The most well known festivals are celebrated in New Orleans, Louisiana, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Sydney, Australia, Venice, Italy and Trinidad and Tobago. It’s Carnival time! We’ve rounded up our favourites so you can see how Mardi Gras and Carnival are celebrated around the world.
1. Rio De Janeiro, fittingly known as the carnival capital of the world, is no stranger to celebrations. Rio’s Carnival dates coincide with Mardi Gras. During Carnival, the various samba schools, each representing their specific neighbourhood, are the main draw. Samba dancers often rehearse months before Carnival and are decked out in extravagant handmade costumes with lavish headpieces. Globe Trekker Host, Ian Wright dives head first into samba, learning from the school, Caprichosos de Pilares and ultimately taking part in the parade.
2. The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is a month long extravaganza with events taking place from throughout February and into March. It’s Sydney’s biggest event of the year. Justine Shapiro takes viewers on a first-hand experience of this liberating celebration of expression and equal rights. Anything goes in this parade, from the Scantily clad costumes to dancing in the streets, drawing a crowd of over a million people to be free to be themselves.
3. Las Llamadas Carnival. Every year Montevideo’s Barrio Sur and Palermo come alive with drummers, street dancers and revellers during the annual Las Llamadas parades, part of Montevideo’s month-long carnival. The parades feature Candombe, an afro-Uruguayan rhythm that was originally created by West African slaves who came together to evoke the music and memory of their motherland.
4. The Venice Carnival takes place in St. Mark’s Square and is centered around various types of beautiful hand made masks, allowing people to maintain a bit of anonymity and play a different character. Like the other carnivals, Venice also commences during the middle of February, marking the start of Lent. The mask contests and the water show on the Venice canals are two highlights of the Carnival and what better excuse to travel to this gorgeous city than to attend one of the biggest celebrations of the year? This is undoubtedly an exhilarating time of year to dress up, celebrate cultural milestones and bask in the traditions that were established decades ago. Carnivals are plentiful around the world and although those mentioned here are some of the most popular ones, they are definitely not the only ones!