James Morris - Aug 31, 2015

Celebrating culture has always been a fun affair. Carnivals existed since the early 19th century. Communities around the world have been gathering at certain times of the years to mark unique celebrations of life. Herein, we are going to discover the five most popular carnivals held in Europe annually. Brought to you by

Notting Hill Carnival

London, UK

Held every year last Sunday and Monday of August, the Notting Hill carnival is arguably the most vibrant. The event attracts over one million people who come together to watch fifty thousand performers. Of the two days, Sunday is the children's day while Monday is dedicated to the adults. The event is characterized by a unique selling proposition of more than forty static music systems on the parade streets with the stalls selling Caribbean foods that include jerk chicken, curries, patties, and fried plantain. 

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife

The two-week event takes place before Ash Wednesday. With over one hundred music groups performing - murgas, rondallas, comparsas - many people claim that Tenerefies is second to only Rios. Coso (the main parade), is showcased on the Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday while Saturday is devoted to dancing on two stages put up in major plazas. In between the week, there is a lot of fun with parades, concerts, dances, and fireworks being the norm. The people are usually dressed in crazy costumes. In the run up to the main event, the Carnival Queen Competition is arguably the highlight for this event, thus it is televised. The event does not end after the two weeks. Here, people take partying very seriously. Therefore, after the stylish 24-hour "end" party, people go on enjoying themselves for over a month.

Carnevale di Venezia

Venice, Italy

This twenty day event takes place before Ash Wednesday and becomes vibrant in the last two weeks. Thousands of partakers attend private as well as public parties that are not only elegant, but also extravagant. The main aim of this carnival is to capture the traditional social customs of the community. While attending the affair, partakers wear masks and unique costumes.

Cologne Festival

Cologne, Germany

This event takes place in the week before and including Shrove Tuesday, kicking off officially at 11.11 a.m. on November, 11th. With over one million people in attendance, every day of the week is dedicated to a unique affair. Thursday is dedicated to the women, on Sunday there is a parade, while Monday is the main parade day. On Tuesdays, many people dressed fancily partake in informal parades in the city suburbs. The enormous papier-mâché caricatures of German and international politicians is this event's unique selling point.

Carnaval de Nice

Nice, France

The fifteen day event takes place in mid-February. The carnival is characterized by eleven parades with around one thousand dancers and musicians from all over the world. The unique feature of this event is the throwing of up to one hundred thousand flowers from floats to the partakers.

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