I am going back to the Netherlands upcoming weekend to celebrate one of the most important events of the year: Carnival. Maybe I will write a logbook post after Carnival to give you an insight how I celebrate this event in the Netherlands. Till that time here a short overview how they celebrate Carnival over the world.
1. Asakusa Samba Carnival
One of Tokyo’s more lively and popular summer festivals. It attracts more than 500,000 visitors. The parade is easily accessible from Tawaramachi or Asakusa station. It is near the famous Sensoji temple. The festival is held every year somewhere at the end of August. I have been to this parade in 2014 and it is amazing. You will see a lot of colourful people and some strange but beautiful Japanese costumes as well.
2. Brazilian Carnival
A week-long party. It is at exactly the same time as Carnival in the Netherlands. It starts on Friday afternoon (51 days before Eastern) and last till Ash Wednesday at noon. Every state has his own style but the most famous one for tourists will be the one in Rio de Janeiro. In Rio you will find more than 100 block parades. Every neighbourhood has its own band and 300 of those will participate in the revelry. Or course this celebration is very high on my bucket list.
3. Notting Hill Carnival
An event part of London since 1966. It is Europe’s biggest street party and my colleagues insisted last year that I have to go to this event. Unfortunately I went to Edinburg at that time, but hopefully I am able to go this year. It is a two days street festival. The carnival is a celebration of the Caribbean communities that are living in London, with a lot of street food and music. It is easy to reach by taking the tube to Holland Park, High Street Kensington, Queen’s Park, Shepherd’s Bush, Bayswater or Paddington.
4. Carnival of Venice
The most famous Carnival event of Europe. Taking place in Venice and it lasts for 12 days and it will end Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. The Carnival is famous for its typical masks. However this is also one of the carnivals that is difficult to access as a budget traveller. For a lot of parties and balls you need a ticket, and you can pay hundreds of Euros to access one of those balls. However there are some free events such as the fireworks display at the Arsenal, and various daytime events at The Grand Theatre at St. Mark’s Square, with live music and the best costume contest.
5. Dutch Carnival (also Belgium and German)
The most important festival for me. And this will not only be celebrated in the southern part of the Netherlands and some part of Germany and Belgium. It is a 5 day festival and it will be finished on Shrove Tuesday midnight. There will be parades and it depends on the area how people will be dressed. In Limburg you will see more the beautiful dresses and costumes, more Venetian. Where in Brabant, my area, people will dress up as more common things such as clowns, fire workers and superheroes.