Its February! We finally made it through the never-ending month of January … the days are getting longer; the weather is getting better and everything just seems a little bit brighter. I hope January was kind to you, and that this new month will be fruitful and adventurous! Last month I shared some great January festivals from around the world (if you missed it, make sure you check it out here!) and this month I thought I’d carry on the trend. So, without further ado, here are 5 February Festivals you need to know about!
5 Days Before Ash Wednesday – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio Carnival has often been described as “The Greatest Show on Earth”, with music, costumes and street parties creating one of the most colourful carnivals in the world. The Carnival is celebrated during the five days leading up to Ash Wednesday (the start of Lent in Catholic and Christian Calendars) and is one of the biggest Carnivals in the world – with over two million people lining the streets each day. The Rio Carnival dates back to 1723 and has since grown and developed over the years to become an infamous tourist attraction and local favourite. There’s even a Sambadrome where samba schools perform and compete with each other! A panel of 40 judges watch every movement and analyse every costume, music choice and piece of choreography before announcing the winner on Ash Wednesday.
Sapporo Snow Festival
4th-11th February (2021) – Hokkaido, Japan
The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of the biggest snow festivals to be found anywhere on the planet. The very first festival was held in 1950 in Odori Park, where school students created six snow sculptures amongst endless snowball fights and a carnival. Rather unexpectedly, 50,000 people turned up to the event, ultimately creating an annual tradition for local people. Today, millions are attracted to the festival to admire some breath-taking sculptures, beautiful scenery, and unique experiences – ice sculptors from around the world even travel to Hokkaido’s Capital to take part in the International Snow Sculpture Contest!
Tapati Rapa Nui
February – Easter Island
Running now for over forty years, the Tapati Festival is one of the most important festivals on Easter Island, and takes place throughout the first half of February. Meaning ‘Rapa Nui Week’, the Tapati Rapa Nui has become a tribute to the ancestral traditions of the Rapanui People and preserves the cultural identity of this corner of the planet. The main reason for the Tapati Festival is to elect the Queen of Tapati! Two candidates are presented and – alongside their friends and family – must compete in a series of tests and competitions. The representative of the group with the most points obtains the symbolic right to reign on the Island for the following year.
Carnival of Venice
Two Weeks Before Ash Wednesday – Venice, Italy
The Carnival of Venice begins two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday). The event was first held in the 11th Century until it fell into decline in the 18th. In 1979 it was revived and became an instant success and popular event for locals and visitors. Each year participants dress in masks and costumes, parade around Venice and enjoy some great live music and attractions. Find out more here.
Pingxi Lantern Festival
February 26th (2021) – Pingxi, Taiwan
Voted as the second largest New Year’s Eve celebration in the world by the Discovery Channel, the Pingxi Lantern Festival takes place every February and sees thousands of visitors descend on the village of Pingxi. Participants write their hopes and wishes on paper lanterns before releasing them into the night sky to be received by their ancestors. It’s believed their ancestors will grant the wishes and bring happiness and prosperity to all who have taken part. The festival is filled with folk performances, riddle contests and carnivals and is a truly unforgettable experience.
Have you been to any of these Festivals before? Let us know in the comments below!