February Festival Favourites
Written by larapiegeler
Whether February is about courtly love, commercialism, or neither, there's a festival happening to suit you, from a February festival of food to a February festival of film to the February festival fun of Carnival.
Surely the Venice Carnevale must be the most romantic February festival of all: a city-wide indulgence in the realisation of mythical, historical or other-worldly fantasy, dating back to the 13th century. Don a sweeping, black cloak and a pale bauta mask and become a mystery yourself...
Rio Carnival is no less magical, and is the largest festival of its kind in the world. It's a glorious four February day blur of circus-style androgyny: many-hued sequins, feathers and gravity-defying costumes pulse to drum beats that last all night.
Mardi Gras is the February equivalent in New Orleans and draws in all kinds of visitors for a two-week riot of purple, green and gold. The French Quarter is as much of a hub for hedonists as you might have heard, but the majority of the parades, dances and other festival events are suitable for families.
Other great February carnivals include Nice, Cologne,Munich and Patras – and the Winter one in Quebec.
All the February pre-Lent festival partying is easily rivalled by the Chinese New Year celebrations taking place in Hong Kong, during which the streets bubble over with lucky colours and fireworks to frighten off evil spirits. For another riotous party that dances to the tune of another calendar, be in Mumbai for the Hindu Spring festival, Holi, a delirious, multi-coloured spice dust bath and water bomb fight!
And don't forget Groundhog Day, on 2nd February. It can only really be celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where street stalls, live music and an influx of festival visitors signal the ritual appearance of Phil the groundhog, said to be the only member of his species to possess genuine meteorological precognitive powers!
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