At this time of year something out of the ordinary happens around the world…there’s mayhem and madness, people do weird and wonderful things, bring out their best costumes…and come together to celebrate carnival!
Win with our carnival photo competition…
Tell us how you do it, and to celebrate world festivals happening everywhere, you could win one of five 12-month Premium Memberships with busuu.
Do you wear feathers and samba? Do you wear coloured beads and catch doubloons? Maybe you wear a gown and masquerade?
Just upload your carnival photo onto our Facebook app by 21st March 2014, showing us what carnival means in your culture and why you love it.
Lots of ways to enter
It might be the excitement of setting up or dressing up. It could be the beat of the drums or the bass of the sound system. Or is it the faces of your friends lit up by lights or made up with face paints?
You can upload your picture onto our Facebook page or alternatively use Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #busuucarnival, share with your friends and get them to vote for your entry. The entries with the most votes will win!
Our competition opens 21st February and closes 21st March 2014. For full terms and conditions, click here.
Amazing carnival traditions from around the world
In the UK…it’s a celebration of diversity
We save our carnival for summer and it’s a celebration of London’s diversity. We love how London bursts with colour – there are murals everywhere…
In Spain…something fishy happens
Tenerife’s carnival is seen as second only to Rio’s. Thousands of people in costumes dance until the early hours right up until Ash Wednesday when there is the symbolic burial of the sardine or ‘entierro de la sardina’. And then there’s the Carnival Queen to crown – an event watched by thousands.
In Italy…it’s not just about Venice
The largest food fight in the country takes place in Ivrea, Northern Italy. The food of choice? Oranges. Thousands are thrown in the streets and are said to represent the stones thrown at the castle of a tyrant king who was overthrown by the people of the town. Held in February, it too celebrates the end of winter and a new beginning.
In Venice…it can be frightening
Baroque costumes and beautiful masks turn the city into a fairytale. But this year there was something a little different. Hundreds of zombies and zombie hunters marched through the streets!
In Germany…it’s ‘crazy days’
Every shopkeeper, policeman, barman; every virgin, prince and farmer (the last three are Cologne traditions!) are dressed up in crazy costume to celebrate the start of Lent.
In India…it’s paint from head to toe
The Holi festival says goodbye to winter and the triumph of good over evil in the most colourful way possible – every paint colour you can think of is thrown – and everyone and anyone is game.
In the US…it’s all purple, green and gold
Purple is justice. Green is faith. Gold is power. Huge floats line the streets and ‘krewes’ throw colourful beads and coins to the crowd. People dance, drink, picnic and party on the streets until midnight on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) before Lent begins.
In Brazil…you can be in the show
Salvador is Brazil’s favourite carnival. They say that ‘If you’re in Rio you are a spectator but if you are in Salvador you are in the show’.