The origins of Carnival can be traced back to ancient pagan rituals marking the transition from winter to spring, such as the Roman festivals of Saturnalia and the Greek celebrations of Dionysia. These festivals featured feasting, merrymaking, and the wearing of masks and costumes.

As Christianity spread, Carnival became associated with the period preceding Lent, a time of fasting and penance. The word “carnival” may derive from the Latin phrase “carne vale,” meaning “farewell to meat,” reflecting the tradition of abstaining from meat during Lent.

Over time, Carnival evolved into a Christianized celebration characterized by revelry and excess before the solemnity of Lent. Today, Carnival is celebrated in various forms around the world, with each culture adding its own unique traditions and customs to the festive season. Whether in Rio de Janeiro, Venice, or New Orleans, Carnival remains a vibrant expression of community, culture, and celebration.

New Orleans

Mardi Gras, the vibrant Carnival celebration in New Orleans, is a spectacle of colourful parades, extravagant costumes, and lively street parties.

Throughout the Carnival season, which culminates on Fat Tuesday, the city comes alive with the sounds of marching bands, the rhythm of brass bands, and the cheers of revellers.

Parades organized by various krewes roll through the streets, featuring elaborate floats adorned with dazzling decorations and masked riders tossing beads and trinkets to excited crowds.

Costumed attendees fill the streets, adding to the festive atmosphere with their creative attire and masks.

King Cake, a traditional Mardi Gras pastry adorned in the collars of purple, green, and gold, is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

From the French Quarter to Uptown, Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a celebration of community, culture, and tradition, attracting people from around the world to join in the spirited festivities.

Rio de Janeiro

The Rio de Janeiro Carnival is a spectacular and vibrant celebration that attracts millions of people from all over the world.

During this festival, the city is filled with music, dance and colourful samba parades. Samba schools compete in the Sambódromo, an impressive stadium designed specifically for this event, where they parade in elaborate costumes and floats.

The contagious energy of samba permeates the streets, and the frenetic rhythms invite spectators to join the party.

In addition to the parades, the Rio Carnival also includes street dances, concerts, and parties throughout the city.

The joy and exuberance are palpable in every corner, making this celebration an unforgettable experience for all who participate. The Rio de Janeiro Carnival is a dazzling display of Brazilian culture and one of the most iconic celebrations in the world.


In Spain, Carnival, known as “Carnaval,” is celebrated with colourful parades, lively street parties, and traditional festivities that vary from region to region. One of the most famous Carnaval celebrations in Spain takes place in the city of Cádiz, where locals and visitors alike participate in vibrant street processions featuring elaborate costumes, music, and dance.

The city’s streets come alive with the sounds of chirigotas, satirical musical groups that entertain crowds with humorous songs and performances. In the Canary Islands, particularly in Tenerife and Las Palmas, elaborate parades known as “Cabalgatas” fill the streets with floats, dancers, and musicians, while locals showcase intricate costumes and masks.

Throughout Spain, Carnaval is a time of joyous celebration, marked by feasting, dancing, and revelry, as people come together to indulge in the festivities before the solemn period of Lent begins.


Carnival in Venice, Italy, is a magical and enchanting celebration that dates back centuries. Known for its opulent masks and elaborate costumes, Venice’s Carnival attracts visitors from around the world to partake in its elegant festivities.

The city’s narrow streets and picturesque canals serve as the backdrop for a series of grand masquerade balls, extravagant parties, and traditional events.

One of the highlights of the Venice Carnival is the “Flight of the Angel” ceremony, where a costumed performer descends from St. Mark’s Campanile to the centre of St. Mark’s Square, symbolizing the start of the festivities.

Throughout the Carnival period, masked revellers wander the streets, posing for photos and engaging in the festive atmosphere. Music, dance, and street performances add to the enchantment of the event, creating an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of Venice’s rich cultural heritage and artistic tradition.

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