It’s not only Rio, you know

2012-08-18 08:17

With the Olympic Games baton passed on to Rio de Janeiro, as well as the next Fifa World Cup taking place in the land of samba, it’s time to get into the swing of the carnival spirit. 7 looks at five must-attend carnivals of the world

Carnival of Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
There’s really no comparison.

Brazilians put on large-scale parades and festivities that last year drew nearly five million people.

Brazil’s most famous holiday sees samba schools building spectacular floats and competing in one of seven divisions based on music, costumes and theme.

Neighbourhoods see smaller-scale parades – blocos – which feature drum parades, samba, and other high-octane sights and sounds.

Mardi Gras

New Orleans, Louisiana, US
Every year, thousands of tourists flood The Big Easy for “the biggest free party on earth”.

The city loosens its (already slack) reins and bedecks itself in endless strings of beads, colourful floats and costumes. Floats of all sizes roll through streets in spectacular parades for two weeks prior to MardiGras.

One of the most famous parades is Zulu, which happens on a Tuesday morning, where rowdy attendees partake in song and dance free of inhibition.

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival

Trinidad and Tobago
Its vibrant history and French roots set the tone for Trinidad and Tobago’s most significant celebration each year.

The Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday enable the Caribbean twin island population to display elaborate costumes that groups create.

Bands compete for the title of Band of the Year as individuals vie to become Calypso Monarch, one of the greatest honours
in the? country.

Notting Hill Carnival

London, England
London comes alive every August with the carnival spearheaded by Trinidadian and Tobagonian Brits.

It attracts a million visitors, who indulge in colourful costumes as they meander through NottingHill’s narrow streets.

Claustrophobic travellers should consider staying at home because the Caribbean-flavoured festival draws large crowds over the course of two – typically hot – summer days.

Carnival of Venice

Venice, Italy
Thousands of Venetians and visitors flood the City of Water disguised in ornamental masks.

The event historically blurred the lines among social classes and has evolved into a festival that could rival any carnival in the world.

Fashion designers from across the globe sit on a panel to vote for “la maschera piu bella”, or “the best mask”, as events like the silent water parade and the Flight of the Angel take place across the city.

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