Costumes, parades, music and colour are at the heart of all carnivals, but every city has its owns customs and traditions. Today we would like to invite you to travel and discover what the carnival is like across Europe.
The carnival of Venice dates back to the 13th century, when nobles used to cover their faces to mix with the ordinary people. Back then the celebrations lasted several months and anything was allowed over that period. Nowadays the festival lasts ten days, but the tradition of hiding your face with a mask is still alive and well. On 4 February, when the clock strikes twelve in Piazza San Marco, the traditional "Flight of the Angel" will kick off one of the most spectacular carnivals in the world.
On 17 February, French Riviera is flooded with light and colour thanks to the carnival of Nice, where the theme this year is "Space". For 15 days, the streets of the city and Place Masséna fill with parades, floats and music, and, of course, fancy dress. The traditional Battle of Flowers is the highlight of the carnival, when a parade of a dozen floats showers everyone with more than 100,000 flowers.
In February, Cadiz is transformed and you can watch "chirigotas", music groups that sing witty and satirical songs on the streets. In fact, every year there is a competition to choose the best carnival ensemble. In 2018 a total of 170 groups will perform on the stage of Teatro Falla, including chirigotas, choirs, comparsas and quartets. It's so much fun!
Prague, the beautiful capital of the Czech Republic, is invaded by the spirit of the Baroque every year, with its "Bohemian Carnevale". The actual carnival seems to date back to medieval times and it is suspected that these festivities used to worship the Roman god Bacchus. Forget about the cold and travel back to the time of Mozart thanks to colourful period costumes and masquerades.
Get your best costume ready, and choose your destination!