The most popular Carnivals events deserve a mention during its last weekend. When you hear “Carnival”, you probably think: Brazil. Wrong! In Europe alone you can have more fun than in South America. Get inspired now and plan next year’s craziness.
Refined – Venice
The most elegant European carnival is certainly the Venetian one. In terms of how chic and stylish it is, it has no rivals. Masks and ball gowns, especially styled like those of the eighteenth century, are obligatory attributes of each participant. The Carnival of Venice is also gondolas full of colorful characters and St. Mark’s Square transformed into the world’s largest ballroom. It is concerts, parades, street performances and the famous flight of the angel. The latter was once in the repertoire of the acrobats. Today, someone chosen from the crowd must show courage and rappel from the bell tower. The Grand Canal is as if taken from a film on the last day of fun, just before midnight. The gondoliers arrive there with torches in their hands, and the sky shines with a cascade of fireworks. It’s a fairy tale!
Original – Cologne
In the category of longest carnival, Cologne, Germany wins the ranking. There is a reason that here this time is called the “fifth season”. Typically, the carnival starts on the Epiphany and ends the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. But on the banks of the River Rhine, the crazy fun starts much earlier – at 11:11 on November 11. But Cologne is not refined balls. Here, when it comes to putting on disguises, we should choose the absurd with a pinch of madness. Among the various points of the program, we should choose Weiberfastnacht – a day on which women storm the town hall and take power. Ladies unceremoniously cut off the men’s neckties; it is good to give up elegance and your favorite clothes. We can catch the biggest parade on the last Monday. For comers there is a 6 km march and mountains of sweets. The crowd receives approximately 140 tons of candies, 700 thousand chocolate bars and 220 thousand boxes of chocolates.
Historic – Ivrea
Are you familiar with the Spanish tomato battle? For a similar experience, you do not need to wait until the summer. The Carnival equivalent of this unusual battle is the Italian war of oranges. Ivrea is a small town located in the northern Piedmont region. This place is also famous for the most … plebeian carnival. The fruity skirmish that takes place here is to commemorate the liberation of the oppressed people years ago. In the Middle Ages the city was controlled by two tyrants. The proletarian rebellion cracked down on both. Today it is the carnival oranges that role play these events. So we have the people symbolized by walkers and the tyrant’s guard in drawn carriages. We also have 400 tons of oranges! These, however, are a relatively new invention of the nineteenth century. Earlier battles were carried out here using … beans.
Exotic – Santa Cruz
The most exotic carnival fun takes place in Tenerife. Of course, this island located in the Atlantic Ocean territorially belongs to Europe after all. For lovers of big parades, the unsurpassed example is always in Rio de Janeiro. In Santa Cruz, so much closer, there is a truly Brazilian atmosphere. Concerts, fireworks and shiny scanty costumes are an integral part of the local craziness. In addition, as befits a good party, the main “ball” usually lasts a full 24 hours! During the carnival, the warm Tenerife will not only treat us to colorful and joyful delights. In an extremely different mood, the carnival ends with the sardine burial.
Carnival festivals, although they have a long tradition, are usually held in quite an updated form. Bulgarian Kukeri, dressed in scary masks and thick animal skin, are a different edition of the winter masquerades. Wandering in the night, they not only indulge in wild dances and wanton accosting people. Their chief task is to chase away evil spirits and winter. So the memory that carnival partly derives from the ancient fertility cults is still alive here. Bulgarian disguisers go out into the streets twice a year – on the evening of New Year’s and just before the advent of Easter fasting. This, from our point of view, strangest carnival festival, it is best to see in the town of Pernik. The renowned Carnival Surva takes place there.