Carnival Events: Street Parties of the World

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A carnival is a mega-event, usually organized by a city, town or country to celebrate festivals, the beginning of a season, or other events. Carnival events evolved when winter was a dreary season that stretched for months in many countries in the Western Hemisphere. When spring began, the whole community celebrated with festivities, street-plays & other events. The carnival venue was on the main streets of the town or village. Such ancient festivals were spontaneous. They were not ‘arranged’ by the city/village authorities or by the government.

As much of the Western World adapted to Christianity, the exact times of carnival events was moved to just before the Lenten season which falls in April/May. Historians say that this was to give the entire community a chance to indulge in rich food & wine before the 40 days of fasting & penitence started. While most pagan rituals were frowned upon, people were allowed to indulge in their pagan beliefs during carnival events. Carnival events like Carnival of Nice, France; Carnival of Venice, Italy; and Fastnacht (Carnival) of Koln, Germany reflect some of the ancient pagan rituals. These include wearing bizarre masks to ward off evil, people wearing disguises and mingling freely in the crowds.

But as times changed, governments & concerned authorities realized that carnivals were a major source of income for their countries & cities. It also boosted the tourism business during the carnival season. Nowadays, the reason behind why carnivals are hosted has been forgotten. But the party spirit & the joy behind carnival events remain the same. According to the Guinness Book of World Records (2010), the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro is the largest & the most popular party in the world. It is also the most well-known of all the carnival events in the world.

A novel way of spending your vacation is to visit carnival events around the world. You can find carnival around the world through a carnival network. Not only are there the major carnivals that draw in millions of tourists within just a week. But smaller carnival events organized area-wise & street-wise within historic cities offer a glimpse into a foreign culture.

Carnivals Around the World is a carnival network that showcases international carnival events. You can find carnival in any country around the world on Carnivals Around the World website. If you’re organizing a carnival, you can report carnival to for free.

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