Top 10 carnivals around the world
Carnival time is here again and with well over 50 different celebrations worldwide, we have put together a list of Top 10 carnivals around the world to attend. In no ways are we saying the other 40+ celebrations aren’t great, these are just 10 of our most popular voted for by our travelling public.
1. Rio Carnival
Brazil is thought of as the home of the carnival, and where the biggest and most vibrant, exciting and extravagant carnival celebrations take place. The Rio Carnival annual celebrations usually take place between the Saturday and the Tuesday that precedes Ash Wednesday. The celebrations originated from the Catholic countries of Europe as a party before Lent, traditionally ending on Ash Wednesday following the period of forty days of abstinence. These days carnival is no longer seen as a religious celebration, but more of a street party with music and dancing. The Rio Carnival is such a massive event and so important to the Brazilians that they divide the year up into two parts.
2. Trinidad & Tobago Carnival
Trinidad & Tobago Carnival is a stunning spectacle bursting with colour, music and creativity, and the euphoric nature of this event has resulted in similar celebrations around the world, e.g. Toronto’s Caribana, Miami Carnival, London’s Notting Hill Carnival and New York City’s Labor Day Carnival, to name but a few have all mimicked Trinidad & Tobago Carnival in some way.
3. Notting Hill Carnival
he Notting Hill Carnival takes place every year over the August Bank Holiday weekend in West London and is one of London’ biggest and best events, as well as the biggest street festival in Europe. The carnival was first held in 1964, with its roots coming from the Trinidad Carnival.Notting Hill Carnival has continually stayed true to the roots of the Caribbean, bringing the heart, soul and spirit to the diversity of London. When the carnival started around 500 people attended the festival, and today it attracts hundreds of thousands to London and is continuing to grow in popularity with over a million people attending over the carnival weekend.
4. Barbados Crop Over
The Barbados Cropover Festival is the premier summer festival in Barbados. It starts off with some events taking place as early as May, with the main events taking place in June to July, and ending with the Grand Kadooment on the first Monday in August. It started in the 1780’s, a time when Barbados was the world’s largest producer of sugar, and a huge celebration was held annually to mark the end of a successful sugar cane harvest.
5. St Lucia Carnival
The St Lucia Carnival takes place over 26 days across various venues. St. Lucia Carnival celebrations were shifted from the month of February before lent to July and St Lucia Carnival is widely lauded as one of the Caribbean’s most exciting festivals. In keeping with the island’s reputation for exclusive world class entertainment, the St Lucia Carnival continues to produce spectacular visual and auditory displays. The carnival provides an opportunity for the islanders to showcase their growing creative industries sector and thereby, assist in the increase of the islands tourism and foreign exchange.
6. Berlin Carnival of Cultures
The Berlin Carnival is celebrated in Germany every year around late May to early June, on the Pentecost weekend, and is highlighted by a four day street festival attended by about 1.5 million visitors. Berlin Carnival is a representation of the large diversity of cultures to be found in the German capital, an exciting and lively city which is constantly transforming. It is a great opportunity for the ethnic communities to showcase their culture, from traditional to modern, to both the cities nationals and its festival visitors.
7. Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival
The Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival is a collection of celebrations, encompassing concerts, cultural shows and street parades that bring together all aspects of the Bahamian culture and heritage into an impressive event. The carnival starts on Easter Monday with major events taking place across Grand Bahama and Nassau. During the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival period cultural events are held, including festivals and private parties which showcases Junkanoo, Rake-n-Scrape, performing artists, arts and crafts, extravagant costumes, Bahamian cuisine, and music and dance.
8. Rotterdam Carnival
The Rotterdam Zomer Carnival, or ‘Zomercarnaval’, is inspired by the Brazilian carnival and brings together music, dance, theatre, street parties and a parade as part of an extravagant event, which is entirely free to attend. Rotterdam Zomer Carnival is reminiscent of the carnivals from Latin-America and encompasses the different cultures, but especially that of the Netherlands, Antilles and Cape Verde. The closing event for this celebration is the Street Parade, and includes thousands of dancers from various countries.
9. Miami Broward Carnival
Miami Broward Carnival takes place every year in early October, on the Sunday before Columbus Day. It is one of the biggest carnivals in North America and often considered to be one the best in the United States. The festivities starts with a Junior Carnival which takes place on the Sunday before the Carnival Sunday. The carnival weekend includes a number of activities which spectators are welcome to take part in, including parades of opulent and colourful costumes, bands parties, fetes, arts and crafts, and samples of food and drink from the Caribbean islands
10. Jamaica Bacchanal Carnival
Jamaica Bacchanal Carnival takes place annually starting in February and continuing for about 8 weeks, concluding on the weekend after Easter (mid April). 2015 marked the 27th anniversary of the Jamaica Bacchanal Carnival. It was introduced to the Jamaicans in 1989 by a group of carnival loving revellers who made annual trips to party in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, the carnival capital of the Caribbean. It is based on the Trinidad Carnival, but with local themes and experiences.
Please do let us know your thoughts and experiences, of the carnivals listed in our Top 10 carnivals around the world.
Your comments are welcome.
For a full list of all the carnivals we offer and our complete carnival packages click here.