Carnivals, believed to be derived from the Italian word Carne (meat), are festivals with Christian origins. Traditionally the last chance for common people to gouge before fasting for Lent. Similar to Pancake Day, the concept comes from the need to eat remaining winter food stores.
Today, whilst a lot of the beliefs surrounding Carnivals have vastly changed, they themselves are still going strong. People wear costumes and masks and consume large quantities of food and alcohol whilst taking part in food fights and general social mockery. Sounds like the perfect short break for a Pirate right?! That's why we've put together a list of our favourite choices with cheap Flights and some awesome Airbnb's for each destination.
*We've used London as departure airport but of course feel free to change this and the dates to your own preferences.*
Venice: 11th - 28th February
The first recorded carnival in Venice was in 1268 making the city of water a perfect choice for carnival virgins. As this is one of the destinations most associated with carnivals it does however, come with a higher price tag. The 2017 Carnevale di Venezia features events such as ice skating, floating structures, a best mask contest and an awards ceremony as well as a large closing dance event featuring live DJs.
Cologne: 23rd - 28th February
The “fifth season of the year” as it’s called locally is certainly not a short event. Officially kicking off on November 11th at 11:11 the Cologne carnival picks up speed and craziness shortly before Shrove Tuesday. The highlight of the entire event is seen as “Rose Monday” which sees the march of “Cologne’s Dreigestrin” in a long procession through the city.
Las Palmas: 10th February - 5th March
For those looking to celebrate in warmer climes you’ll be hard pushed to beat one of Spain’s most popular Carnivals. Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria features various Galas including a Drag Queen Gala. The main parade is regularly witnessed by over 200k people.