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
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
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
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
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