Masks, Parades, and Dance: Crazy Carnival Around the World

Carnival - Venice, Italy

Carnivale is a famous festival held all around the world in the days leading up to the start of Lent. The celebrations often involve parades, feasts, public street parties, and many other heart-racing activities. Held in countries all around the world – especially those with large Christian communities – the specific events and dates will vary from place to place, but the spirit of Carnivale endures no matter where it is.

TakeTours makes finding and booking the perfect vacation easy, so you can focus on having a good time. We know that travel can be stressful, but we don’t believe that should be the case. With Carnivale approaching fast, we’ve listed some of the countries with the largest, most famous festivities. Choose from these – or any country that calls out to you – for one of the most unforgettable experiences of your life!



Though there are celebrations in cities all over beautiful Brazil, none are as famous as the one held in Rio de Janeiro. The bustling street parties and parades culminate at the Sambadrome, an exhibition arena where groups from the local Samba schools (dance clubs and troupes) can march through to showcase the parade displays that they have been working on in the build-up to Carnivale. They perform dances on top of magnificently designed floats as the parade moves from one end of the Sambadrome to the other. This year, the Rio celebration will run from February 13th to 17th. If you want to fully experience Carnivale in Brazil, but want to avoid Rio, which can become overwhelmingly busy at this time of year, you can venture instead to one of the other cities that host a festival, like Salvador. Because of the large area of the country and its history of immigrant cultures, each region of the country throws a unique celebration. Check out these amazing vacation packages to Brazil, or check out these 1-day Brazil sightseeing tours that will help you fill the time between Carnivale parades!

Carnival in Brazil


The first documented Carnivale celebration in Italy dates back to 1268 in Venice. Like Brazil, there are multiple cities that host events, and each one has something different to offer. At Ivrea, you can join in the Battle of the Oranges, regarded as the largest food fight in the world, in which participants throw oranges at each other. Though the origins of this practice are not fully known, it is said to come from the city’s struggles with a local tyrant during the Middle Ages. Viareggio hosts one of the most famous celebrations in the country, lasting for an entire month of parades and parties both day and night. The festivities in Venice helped popularize the tradition of masquerades, where people dress up in ornately designed masks and Renaissance-era outfits. There are several different kinds of masks available; the diversity of the masks comes from an old tradition where the type of mask someone wore showed what their occupation was. Find the perfect vacation package to Venice, Italy now with TakeTours!

Carnival - Venice, Italy



When the Spanish colonized Mexico hundreds of years ago, they brought Carnivale with them. In the present day, about 225 distinct communities take part in the celebration each February. The largest gatherings take place in the cities of Mazatlan and Veracruz. The celebration of each community is customized to incorporate cultural elements from the local indigenous people, the country’s Spanish ancestry, and Mexico’s emergence as an independent nation. Despite the small differences from place to place, one element of Carnivale acts as a common thread through all the celebrations: the incredibly vibrant colors! Mexico’s Carnivale will run from February 11th to the 17th this year. TakeTours has some excellent 1-day Mexico sightseeing tours as well as a variety of Mexico vacation packages, available now!


Carnival - Mexico


Although China does not celebrate Carnivale, around the same time each year, Chinese people around the world welcome in the New Year according to the traditional Chinese calendar. Known as the Spring Festival, it lasts for fifteen days, culminating in the lantern festival, during which iconic paper lanterns are hung throughout cities. In 2015, the Chinese New Year begins on February 19th, and will usher in the Year of the Sheep. Check out these cool 1-day Shanghai sightseeing tours and 1-day Beijing sightseeing tours, during which you will get to experience one of these sprawling metropolises bathed in the incredible light of the festive season.

China - Chinese New Year - Spring Lantern Festival


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