The Top 15 Carnivals Around The World

Carnival is an annual Christian festival and this festival is celebrated in many countries of the world. There are many stories about Carnival, which is celebrated around the world and in many different fashions every year. The world’s largest carnival festival is held in Salvador and Bahia, Brazil. “Carnival” is a festival of colors, which is transformed into costumes, calypso, steel band music, dance and an array of different ethnic food and Caribbean art; which attracts millions of people from around the global.


Brazilian Carnival, accurately spelled Carnaval, is an annual festival in Brazil. It is held four days before Ash Wednesday, the day of fasting and repentance that marks the beginning of Lent.
Rio de Janeiro is the most famous place for carnival in Brazil. In carnival the different samba schools compete for the first place in elaborate parades that last for hours. In carnival all dancers wear incredible costumes of sequins and feathers. Rio became famous in the 1930′s for their parades, parties, and balls, which become larger and more impressive every year. The parade´s history began in 1928 and used to take different routes through the city before settling on its current path. Carnival parades pass through the enormous Sambodromo, a sort of long stadium. If you want to join in the samba parade, samba schools are always looking for extra performers to be part of the show.

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Notting Hill Carnival is an annual occasion of England, which takes place on the streets of Notting Hill, London in August every year, for two days, since 1965. In England carnival has attracted many people in the past, making it the second largest street event in the world. Notting Hill Carnival came in England from Trinidad, where the first Caribbean carnival was held in 1833. Before this date, black slaves had been forbidden by law to take part in their master’s European Easter carnivals, or even to gather on the streets after nightfall.
First time in England Rhaune Laslett decided to invite the steelband to take part in a street festival in Notting Hill. This was the first event that steelband music was played on any streets in England.
Rhaune Laslett’s idea of inviting the steelband to take part in the festival was appealing to the vast popular of West Indians in the area who felt alienated from the community celebration.

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Carnival is the big winter festival that is celebrated in all parts of the country with parades, masquerade balls, entertainment, and parties. Carnevale of Italy, just like Carnivals in the UK, US and in other parts of the world, is celebrated in Italy forty days before Easter and a final party before Ash Wednesday. Carnevale is the biggest festival of ITALY. Events often last for two to three weeks before the actual carnival day. Many Italian towns celebrate Carnevale festival the weekend before the actual carnival date, which is on Shrove Tuesday.

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In Holland carnival is celebrated just before Ash Wednesday (seven weeks before Easter). In carnival excitement reaches its peak and a large part of Netherlands goes mad. In carnival many Dutch towns hold parades consisting of strange, grotesque, papier-mâché figures on floats and people dress up in outrageous outfits. Brass bands blast out oomph music as the usually staid citizens suddenly dance the conga together through the streets. A huge quantity of beer disappears down thirsty throats. Many radio and TV channel devote hours to popular Carnival songs whose lyrics are at best earthy, at worst obscene.
The main Carnival provinces are Limburg and south Brabant, both near the Belgian border, with Maastricht generally regarded as top Carnival town. In these towns, which do not hold parades, Carnival celebrations take place indoors in pubs and other venues. Christians in Holland adopted Carnival as the last chance to eat, drink and be merry prior to the forty days fasting before Easter. Holland people also gave it its modern name Carnival, connected with ‘carne’, or meat, unsurprisingly enough.

netherlands Top 15 Carnivals In World


Carnival event is celebrated all over Spain and Portugal. Carnival is the most respectful, rebellious festivals. Probably ‘carnival’ words come from the Medieval Latin words Carnelevarium, meaning to take away or remove meat. Carnival festival’s first day season varies from country to country. Carnival festival is celebrated before the 40 days of Lent. Spain carnival is a time for feast, fun n frolic. In carnival festival the spirit of joy shoots up and music, dance, food, family and friends form the core of celebration. Carnival festival in Spain is celebrated nationwide though the most raucous festivities such as: the Canary Islands, Cadiz and Sitges. While each town of Spain has its own unique flavor of celebration.

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In Slovenia, their many colorful carnival customs with more than a hundred different recognized mask styles. In Slovenia carnival all people have many masks of different styles on their face. This is also the country’s most celebrated mask festival and there are rewards for the most creative and beautiful. The Carnival season begins with the New Year, but official events organized by City open two weekends before Shrove Tuesday, During the Carnival evenings the town lights up, with art and theatre performances taking place throughout the streets, squares and special Carnival tents. Carnival Tuesday assures a return to normalcy with a burial ceremony for the Kurentovanje at noon. In Slovenia carnival, they wear masks, which are luxuriously decorated.

slovenia festival Top 15 Carnivals In World


The Croatia Carnival festival is one of the world’s largest carnivals and just recently celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2008. The first Croatia carnival was held in 1982 and only had three performers who, since that time, have attended all the carnivals that followed. These three groups were Lako Cemo, Pehinarski Festari and Halubajski Zvoncari and they participate every year in Croatia carnival.
Every year at the manifestations, the mayor gives a fake key to the city to the maestro so that during Croatia carnival festival, he is then considered the mayor, although this is pretend. In Croatia carnival they also elect a carnival queen and have a ball each year. All participants of the Croatia carnival festival wear facemasks and cars are made to look like they were very old. The main carnival festival and all of the typical events are usually organized in front of the City Hall, and is held four days before Ash Wednesday every year.

croatia festival Top 15 Carnivals In World


The annual festival of Carnival now takes place all across the Caribbean, but it originally it first took place on the island of Trinidad & Tobago. Every year just before Ash Wednesday, carnival festival fills the streets where vacationers and locals mingle to watch parades and celebrate carnival. All people wear brightly colored costumes covered in sequins and feathers and spend their days dancing and partying in the streets.
The original Carnival party was only for the masses. The island’s upper class would watch, but not contribute in the festival.
Trinidad has a great history of music which is shown in the Trinidad and Tobago carnival. They use drums and five-foot sticks of bamboo to create a bass drum effect, while foot-long pieces are being struck together by hand to create a counterpoint, called a foulé. But steel band music replaced the tambour-bamboo style, and has become so popular that it is very popular outside of Carnival as well.

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Quebec Winter Carnival is an outburst of fun, food and entertainment in the midst of the cities cold winter days. This carnival is celebrated in the first part of February. It is a fun way for the Quebecers to outwit the harshness of winter, transforming the city into one massive outdoor party. Quebec Winter Carnival is the largest winter celebration in the world and the third largest carnival after Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans.
Brightly lit night parades are the most colorful part of the Quebec Winter Carnival. Every year many viewers bundle up and line the snowy streets of the city. Carnival parades feature fantastic floats, marching bands and many clowns. Even though it is freezing cold – about six degrees below zero – a band of young ladies is marching by dressed up in kilts.
Canoe race is a famous Quebec tradition since the first Carnival.

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The word ‘Carnival’ is made from two Latin words – ‘Carne’, meaning meat, and ‘Vale’, means ‘good-bye’. Carnival in Goa celebrates non-stop three days. Carnival festival is festival of colors, song and music, providing a healthy entertainment for all, young and old. It is possible that the present-day concept of a carnival emerged from this parade.
The Carnival in Goa is an important part of the Portuguese heritage of the state. Carnival is an occasion when people enjoy in rich food at lavish feasts, and convents distributed cakes and pastries. Even though Carnival celebration lasts only for three days, the preparations for the festival take days, and build up a frenetic pitch by the eve of the carnival. In Goa carnival, A King of Chaos, called King “Momo”, is elected, after which begins a weeklong spurt of revelry – presided over by King Momo. This is the most important part of carnival when red-and-black dance are held by the Clube National in Panaji on the final day.

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Barranquilla carnival is the big event in Colombia. Barranquilla carnival is being featured by beautiful Caribbean women of the coast of Barranquilla. Carnival is celebrated 40 days before Easter and climaxes with 3 days (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) of parades, parties, music and dancing. Barranquilla’s Carnival is a carnival with tradition that dates back to the 19th century. During the carnivals, the city of Barranquilla’s regular activities are paralyzed because the city gets busy with street dances, musical and masquerade parades.
Barranquilla’s Carnival is second in size to Rio’s, but is far less commercialized. In Barranquilla Carnival you can find some interesting dances like the Spanish paloteo, African congo, etc. There many styles of Colombian music that are performed; most prominently cumbia, and instruments that include drums and wind ensembles. UNESCO, proclaimed the Carnival of Barranquilla in November of 2003, as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, during Olga Lucia.

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In Germany Carnival called Karneval, Fastnacht, Fassenacht, or Fasnet. It depends on the region where the carnival is celebrated. Roots of this carnival are in the spring celebrations of pre-Christian times, when people wore masks to scare away winter spirits and welcome the rebirth of nature with singing and dancing.
The Thursday before Ash Wednesday is known as “women’s Carnival” in some regions of Germany. Each city and town of Germany has its own Carnival traditions, but in Southwest Germany, the Swabian-Alemannic Carnival is considerably different from the Rhineland version. In Swabian-Alemannic carnival only those who have lived in the city for more than 15 years can take part. This is the government’s rule in southwest Germany. The masks and the costumes also have to conform to historical precedents – unlike at the carnival celebrations in Cologne or Mainz.

germany festival Top 15 Carnivals In World


In the carnival season, participants let their hair down and enjoy life to the full. Masks and costumes help people to take on a new identity while they parade through the streets, often playing musical instruments. The carnival starts on the Monday after Ash Wednesday, at 4 am precisely. Switzerland’s biggest and best-known carnivals are held in Basel and Lucerne.
Fasnacht in Basel is one of the country’s best-known and most profligate traditions. When the carnival gets underway in the early hours of the morning the streets of this northern Swiss city come to life with the sound of drumming, flute-playing and marching by masked and costumed figures.

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Jamaica Carnival is celebrated in Easter time at the centers of Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, and includes extravagantly costumed groups which parade and dance in the streets. Soca parties, reggae and calypso bands and a children’s parade are included as well as performers from Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and anywhere else from the Caribbean.
Carnival was introduced to Jamaica for the first time in 1990 and quickly took root on this fun-loving island to become one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the year. This is one of the biggest events in Jamaica. The fun and excitement are not limited to Kingston, although this is where the grand Road Parade and many of the main events take place.

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In Belgian many towns celebrate Carnival festival, usually with costume parades, partying and fireworks. The parades of the Carnival of Binche start over three days before Lent. In this parade the most important participants are the Gilles, who go out in their traditional costumes on Mardi Gras and throw blood oranges to the crowd.
Carnival of Binche is approved by UNESCO as a Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

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