Hey, we envy you! Spring is just the season to soak in carnival colours. TS writer Prerna Madan has a cornucopia of them for you. Pick and go!

Mardi Gras, New Orleans

Mardi gras new orleans

Inspired from Christian tradition, this legal holiday culminates into the austerity of Lent at midnight. Clowns, Shakespearean gowns, and masked locals dominate this colourful masquerade-parade. You’d be lucky to get invited to one of the endless private parties and balls organised during this time.

Duration: Feb 11- March 4, 2014

Curacao festival

Curacao festival 2

Pristine silver beaches and coral reefs are not the only features of this Caribbean island. From January, it offers a host of parades and activities lasting till March. Feast your eyes on more than 30 types of ethnic dances, exuberant costumes and Disney characters at the Gran Marcha parade (Grand Carnival). Traditionally, the festival closes by burning  the effigy of King Momo at midnight, symbolising the end of evil, infertility and bad luck.

Duration: Jan 4 – March 4,2014

For more information, visit: www.curacaocarnival.info

Nice carnival, France

Nice carnival

Dating back from 13th century, this 12 day carnival attracts 1 million visitors  every year. The artistic spectacle of  20 floats with 50 giant heads or grosses tetes on the French Riviera is a major attraction. Tingle your senses with the fragrance of mimosas and fresh-plucked flowers in staging  of the historical Bataille de Fleurs (Battle of Flowers).  Or indulge your taste buds with the innumerable local delicacies.

Duration: Feb 14 – March 4, 2014

For more information, visit: www.nicecarnaval.com

Rio de Janeiro carnival, Brazil

rio de janeiro carnival

No one can ignore the ‘Mother of all Carnivals’. Whether it’s the exotic costumes, the glorious Samba dancers or the sheer magnitude of colours – it is certainly NOT to be missed. Soak in the rich culture of Brazil and tune your ears to the eccentric music of European and African origins. Interestingly, the biggest carnival of the world is ‘made’ by the fun loving, street people of Rio.

Duration: Feb 28 – March 4, 2014

For more information, visit: www.rio-carnival.net