Finally, it has come the time to pick another costume for one of the greatest parties of the year. You may not like children, but it’s unavoidable to draw a little smile seeing how children get out of their houses dressed up like superheroes or Disney princesses. But Carnival means much more than a costume and make-up; it’s an expression of freedom, a chance to do what you can’t usually do, or simply, the possibility of becoming another person, just for fun.
It’s obvious that costumes and cheerful faces are indispensable for an event of this kind, but if you ever have the chance to travel a little bit during Carnival time, you’ll realise that Carnival is an entire culture. And the farther you travel, the more different each culture will be. So, here are 4 of the most exciting places to visit a Carnival, each one offers a great chance to dress up and have fun in very different ways.
1. New Orleans – USA
Commonly known as Mardi Gras, Carnival in this town is synonym for music and dance. The day before Ash Wednesday, the party begins and does not end for the next 12 days, in which you’ll be hearing nothing in the streets but lots of jazz music. Not only that, there are lots of private parties in which dancing may be practically compulsory and bright coloured dresses are the true protagonists. And so, everything is already set up for this year, as it will begin today!
2. Venice – Italy
Don’t fret if everyone you see is wearing a mask! Here, masks are the symbol of elegance. Not just because of the good taste of the costumes, Carnival in Venice is considered to be one of the most elegant parties in the world. It all began in the Middle Ages, and it’s still as close as possible to tradition, by wearing the same type of costumes and practicing the old traditional banquet. It’s definitely worth it to have a little walk in St Mark’s Square, just to see the display of costumes or, if you’re lucky enough, join them for their traditional masquerade ball!
3. Cadiz – Spain
It may be not one of the most well-known Carnival parties, but it’s always amusing to find out that there’s always lots of people who come to see how Cadiz’s citizens sing and dance in the streets. There are lots of bright colours and you might also like to know that Carnival is also a time in where protests are completely allowed. In fact, one of the most effective ways to know what’s happening in the Spanish society is just listening the famous ‘chirigotas’: songs that are especially composed for protesting about misery and corruption on the country. Anyway, as said, it’s just for fun: a time where mocking and laughing about ourselves won’t have any consequences.
4. Rio – Brazil
Of course, it’s impossible to describe some of the most famous places to celebrate Carnival without mentioning what could be the synonym of Carnival itself. Without a doubt, Brazil takes this culture very seriously, and Rio, even more than other Brazilian cities. For several weeks, Rio becomes a huge display of sequin tight suits and also, the kingdom of samba, the traditional music of the country. Definetly, going to see all the samba schools dancing is a must. And you’ll be very welcome to dance with them…if you dare!