The Vada Carnival Guide 2015

Daniel Wren

As the days get brighter and warmer, and our attentions turn to the summer celebrations, Vada offers up its top picks for carnival destinations in 2015.

Andy Washington, Managing Director of, comments, ‘When we travel, we all have slightly different priorities and carnival is no exception so whether you’re looking for a family-friendly carnival, historic splendour or to be at the heart of the party, there is a carnival to fit your needs.’


Carnevale di Venezia in Italy runs in the 10 days before Ash Wednesday from 7 February 2015. Masks are, of course, a huge Venetian tradition and this is one of the most famous carnivals in the world. Enjoy a little bit of anonymity and play a new role as you try on a new persona each night.


Giant fiesta Cádiz Chirigotas in Spain runs from 12 to 22 February 2015, and is rightly one of the most famous carnivals in Spain. Expect face-painting as standard, so prepare to make yourself up. Drag queens: show these girls how it’s done.


Rio Carnival runs from 13 to 18 February 2015. Rio de Janeiro’s festivities draw a massive two million people to the city. Expect free live concerts and more than 400 street parties. Sambódromo Stadium is the heart of the festival, where the final parade takes place – with some of the biggest and brightest costumes anywhere in the world.

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The Fifth Season of the Year runs from 16 February to 18 February 2015. Cologne Carnival pulls in around one million visitors to the city, making it a seriously impressive carnival for a city of its size. The carnival actually begins on 11 November at 11:11am, but Weiberfastnacht (Shrove Thursday), the Thursday before Rosenmontag (Carnival Monday), is when the action really kicks off.


Limassol Carnival in Cyprus runs from 16 February to 26 February 2015. The biggest carnival in Cyprus, the festivities last a whole 10 days, with open-air live music, fancy dress competitions, food stalls and a calendar of sporting events. Meanwhile, the gorgeous sand and sea lay in wait for those who want to cool off after all that partying.


The Carnaval de Nice runs from 17 February to 4 March 2015. The Promenade des Anglais, alongside the Riviera, turns into a day-and-night party with a multicultural showcase of over a thousand musicians and dancers. The city’s fabulous ‘flower battles’ see vivid floats decorated to the high heavens, transporting extravagant costumed revellers who throw lilies, gerberas and mimosas to the crowds.


The French coastal city of Dunkirk (easily reached from Dover) sports fishermen’s bands, sailors, balls and live fishing. There are literary re-enactments riffing off the character of Jean Bart and traditional music in the form of old songs and sarabands.

About Daniel Wren

Vada Magazine staff writer. Interested in travel, news, politics and dating.