What is the most festive month of the year? Surprisingly they are February. After all, the most colorful and unforgettable carnivals are held all over the world. On them, people can diversely entertain themselves, try a lot of delicious food. Not surprisingly, carnivals attract many tourists. They also want to participate in these shows of unusual costumes, masks, exotic dances.
The very word carnival of the popular theory came from the words “carne” and “vale”, meaning “farewell” and “meat”. So what is it – farewell to meat? The fact is that before carnivals were held shortly before the Great Lent, when you could still eat meat. The origins of such costumed holidays should be sought in paganism.
People tried to drive away evil spirits and say goodbye to the winter. During the Inquisition, it was impossible to rejoice, but the Renaissance once again breathed life into the old tradition. Europeans have spread the habits of costumed festivities all over the world. So carnival appeared in different countries of the world, some of them got world fame. Carnival Rio, Brazil.
In the last weeks of February, all Brazil literally begins to go crazy. After all, in Rio begins a carnival. This action has long been a benchmark, with him are compared all other similar events. Carnival lasts 4 days and 4 nights, starting in the midst of the Brazilian summer. The local carnival is also a significant art event in the world.
View on the holiday in the city annually comes more than a million tourists. It is no coincidence Rio is proudly called the capital of all carnivals. After all, here is the greatest and most grandiose fun in the world. The carnival opens with officialdom. The mayor of Rio passes the silver and gold keys from the city to the king of the carnival, a fictional character, a fat Momo. This means that for 4 days it is he who becomes the master of the city. Momo is entitled to issue and repeal any laws.
After the officialdom, celebrations begin all over the country. People have fun on the streets, in bars and clubs. Carnival balls are held everywhere. The whole country thunders with drums, which beat off incendiary rhythms. But the most interesting in the carnival is the parade of Samba schools.
The best dance schools are held on a special sambodrome in Rio, to win the right to be called the best. Their path runs along a concrete strip 600 meters long and 20 meters wide, on both sides there are stands with spectators. Dancers come out in stunning colorful costumes and arrange an unforgettable show.
Venetian Carnival, Italy.
And this celebration takes place in the second half of February, proving the cheerful nature of this winter month. It is no coincidence that this carnival is the second most popular in the world. The beginning of it falls on “Fat Tuesday”. In Catholicism this day is traditionally called Mardi Gras. For the first time the mention of the carnival in Venice occurs back in 1094. And since 1296 the Senate of the Venetian Republic officially declared the day before the Great Lent festive.
More than half a million tourists flock to Venice at the time of the carnival. All of them wanted to see with their own eyes how this ancient and ancient holiday is held. During the carnival, up to 30 thousand people arrive daily to the city. On the main square in front of the Cathedral of St. Mark the opening ceremony is held. It is here that you can see the first parade in costumes and masks. Participants show the scene of the release of the abducted pirate girls from captivity.
At one time, the tradition of wearing masks during the carnival in the city appeared as a sign of equality between all residents on this holiday. Over time, this attribute is so much liked by the Venetians, that they began to wear it on ordinary days. But the authorities began to fight with masks – men were supposed to be imprisoned for their wearing, and women were flogged with rods. After hiding his face, it was possible to perform unseemly deeds.
Today, masks remain an attribute of this merry festival.It involves, captivating with unpredictability, fun and traditions. So, during the carnival only in Venice you can see a masquerade regatta of local gondoliers. Guests are invited to concerts, fireworks, costumes with Columbine and Harlequin.
Cologne Carnival, Germany.
Although this carnival takes place in February, it opens long before that. The solemn ceremony takes place on November 11 at 11 hours 11 minutes. At this time carnival meetings begin, on which the townspeople discuss the program of the future carnival, choose candidates for the role of the Prince of Carnival.
The festival takes its full power only after the New Year. The inhabitants of Cologne themselves claim that their carnival is the fifth time of the year – the most cheerful and carefree. To walk in glory in Cologne, here comes to a million tourists. And this is really a unique sight – before the restrained and phlegmatic Germans throw off that mask.
The festival splashes outside on Fat Tuesday and lasts until Ash Wednesday, passing through Babiy Thursday. Carnival is held in public gardens and pubs. It involves all the citizens, except for the police and doctors. The beginning of the carnival takes place on the Old Square. There at 11:11, women stormed the town hall. Matriarchy is proclaimed, and with all the men on the table, ties are ruthlessly cut off.
But the highest point of the festivities falls on Pink Monday. Then a festive procession is organized in the city. The streets are all officially registered carnival communities, each of them carries with them a funny figure from papier-mache, making fun of politicians. In total, about one and a half million people are watching this. It is extremely important to choose the right places. After all, with wagons the participants throw sweets at the spectators. The hosts of the carnival, besides the Prince, are the Peasant and the Virgin. Together they walk around the city and give out sweets. On the last day the Prince of Carnival, the Chief Burgomaster passes the key from the Town Hall.
Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago.
The islands of Trinidad and Tobago are famous for their annual February carnival. He appeared here in 1838 after the abolition of slavery. At first the carnival was elegant costume balls and exquisite dinners. On the islands is a very exotic population, which is famous for its diversity of cultures. Especially strongly affected the local residents of the African current. In its spirit, this unique celebration reminds Brazilian, but there are European notes here, as well as Indian, Indian, Chinese and Oriental.
Carnival begins on Friday, when the king and calypso queen are chosen. This is the name of a special kind of Afro-Caribbean music. It sounds all over the island these days in special tents. Other indispensable attributes of the carnival are steel drums and rum bottles. Drums clatter at night, bringing listeners into ecstasy. Later in the Royal Park choose Monarch Calypso. For this title there is a grandiose competition.
There are other remarkable traditions here. So, the islanders cover each other with special paint. Often there are parties to the festival returning home in completely different clothes and in a changed appearance. Carnival festivities start on Tuesday. Parades pass through the streets of the cities, people circling in them to the music of steel drums and orchestras. At the same time, the sounds are so loud that even the bodies of participants vibrate in time. Carnival in Barranquilla, Colombia.
This carnival is not like anything. UNESCO called it even “a masterpiece of the oral and intangible cultural heritage of mankind.” They say that he is overly cheerful, sexy and strange. In this city in northern Colombia, everything is plunged into an illusory world of dreams. To touch it thousands of tourists come here. After all, they are all direct participants in the action. Carnival is firmly connected with the Negro holidays of African slaves, who relied only one day off in the year.
Carnival begins four days before Ash Wednesday, reaching its peak during the Batalla de las Flores, a battle of flowers. The holiday is multicultural. In total, several parts of the carnival can be distinguished: Caribbean folklore, dances with elements of poetry, story dances, parade, comedy theater, folk folk theater, musical groups with a soloist, satirical choir. Costume same part of carnival has a single and collective direction.
It is believed that the carnival in Barranquilla is the third most important in the world, yielding to the Brazilian and Orleans. This folklore festival is a significant event in the cultural life of Colombia.
Carnival in Nice, France.
This carnival has a long history. It takes place in the city on the beach since 1294. After all, in Europe, a tradition to hold carnivals before the Great Lent has long been born. In Nice, it all started with the fact that Duke Henri Anjou arranged a fun with clowns. It was so popular with the townspeople that they decided to hold a carnival at the end of February.
But the event would have remained a shtetl, if not for tourists who frequented the Azure Coast, since the middle of the XIX century. It was quiet and cozy, and since 1876 the carnival has acquired its distinctive feature – the battle of flowers. At the time of the festival, the city turns into a single party. And it lasts as much as 15 days. Masquerade performance is accompanied by carnival processions, musical accompaniment, parades, fires and fireworks.
On the very first day of the carnival on Massena Square, under the cries of the crowd comes the King of this action. The very festive procession includes 20 chariots. There are allocated 20 heads made of papier-mâché. Bright moments of the carnival are the Parade of Light, the Parade of Flowers, the Flower Battle on the English Embankment. During the final parade on the fire burned at the stake of the Carnival King. Then guests are waiting for a giant fireworks display. Bengal lights are lit on the castle hill, and all the streets of Nice are brightly lit.
Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.
This triumph claims to be the second largest, behind only the rival from Rio. Celebrations are held in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which is in the Canary Islands. Participation in the mass festivities takes about a million people.
Carnival takes place every year and lasts about a week. Since 1980, this event has been declared an international tourist festival. In 2000, the city became a carnival capital of the world.
Mass celebrations begin here on Friday, when the magnificent opening parade is taking place. His peak reaches deep in the night, as a result of thousands of brightly dressed people dancing until the morning. To participate in the costume show thousands of guests come here. It itself is divided into two parts – an official carnival and a street carnival.
The festivities in Santa Cruz de Tenerife are famous for their dancers, bright queens and musical theaters. The music of local bands is heard everywhere, the rhythms have much in common with the Caribbean peoples. But at the same time you can hear the electronic sound. The main activity is the choice of the Queen of Carnival. Festive processions affect all the main streets of the city. Carnival Mardi Gras in New Orleans, USA.
Mardi Gras literally translates as a fat Tuesday. This day comes after the oil week, the Great Lent begins with the Catholics. Mardi Gras is the equivalent of Maslenitsa. Celebrate it in many European countries.
In America, the tradition of carnival on this day appeared in the middle of the XIX century. Then in the French quarter of Orleans, the beginning of spring was cheerfully and loudly greeted. Carnival gradually gained new fans, becoming even brighter, even more populous.
Fat Tuesday is the last day before Lent, when believers can come off in full, indulging all their desires.In Orleans, it was embodied in costumed performances, noisy parties and festive parades. Carnival became the most colorful and cheerful event in the life of America. The streets of the city are more than 400 chariots with 15 thousand participants. And millions of spectators watch this action.
The rules of the Mardi Gras in New Orleans were finally established in 1872. At the carnival, his king and queen are chosen. They in masks go through the streets of the city surrounded by retinue, greeting the “subjects”. The crowd demands to throw them something, receiving in return the tin coins and trifles. According to legend, the tradition of the presence of the king at the carnival has Russian roots. Once brother of the heir to the throne, Prince Alexei Alexandrovich arrived in New Orleans, being in love with actress Lydia Thompson. He was made a special platform with the inscription “King”.
Carnival in Goa, India.
For India itself, the tradition of carnivals is unusual and unique. And the Portuguese are “to blame” for this, who had Goa for 500 years. Local residents could not understand the essence of this holiday for a long time, but now they are happy to participate in it.
Annually for three days and three nights in the state of Goa comes the legendary king Momo. He begins to rule the state, transforming the streets of cities. They are filled with different colors and music. The carnival is accompanied by balls, dances and processions. The main meaning of the festival is to eat, drink and rejoice. The festive procession consists of unusual chariots, moving along the streets of the capital of the state of Panaji. Prepare for this almost half a year. The fact is that on mobile platforms, mobile performances are also played.
On the last day of the festivities, the National Club of the capital of Goa conducts the famous red-black dance. Carnival attracts tourists here, but they should be cautious. It is best to choose old clothes. After all, young people have fun, watering people with paint.
An inseparable part of this carnival are plentiful feasts. Here you can find dishes from the gifts of the ocean, many varieties of rice and forgotten by the Portuguese themselves sweets. Only here to transfer food and take should be using the right hand. For the Hindus, the left is “unclean”, serving for hygienic needs.
Basel Carnival, Switzerland.
Even in a small quiet Switzerland there is a carnival. It lasts three days and begins on the first Monday immediately after the Ash Wednesday. That festival is the largest of its kind in the country, gathering thousands of participants and spectators.
This carnival can be considered a long-liver, because its history stretches back to the beginning of the 16th century. First here, dedicated to the beginning of the Lent, knight tournaments and costumed procession were held. It was organized by city craft guilds. Over time, the religious component was gone, but the holiday remained.
Preparation for the carnival in Basel begins in a few weeks. At the same time, only members of special carnival-musical unions are allowed to march. There are about 300 of them in the city. In total, about 18,000 people take part in carnival parades. This holiday is distinguished by strict division into spectators and participants.
Carnival begins early in the morning. On the main city squares the lights are extinguished and the participants of the first procession go out with bizarre lanterns. Magic lights create a unique light atmosphere. After that, all participants move to pubs, cafes and a restaurant. There they eat traditional carnival food – onion pie with cheese, soup with toasted flour, drink mulled wine and eat sugar cookies. At noon begins the main carnival parade. Its participants take to the streets with drums, flutes and wind instruments.
The second day of celebration is considered childish – now the unusual costumes are worn by the smallest townspeople, and their numerous clowns entertain. On Wednesday, the costume parade is held again, then the lanterns are lit again. Carnival became famous for its tradition of spreading confetti.Local historians believe that it is from Basel that this festive tradition has spread all over the world.