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Carnival in Rio
Trinidad and Tobago
Salvador de Bahia Carnival
New Orleans Mardi Gras
Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival
Canary Islands, Spain
Quebec Winter Carnival
When to go
The vast majority of carnivals span the several days immediately before Ash Wednesday (when partying ends and fasting begins). The Ash Wednesday date varies significantly from year to year:
2014 - March 5
2015 - February 18
A few carnivals (including Quebec's) begin and end well before Ash Wednesday.
Most carinvals feature ...
A long line of flashy floats are accompanied by a mass of colorfully (and sometimes scantily) attired dancers and singers. Spectator stands line the route.
It's loud, incessant, and repetitive, but a vital part of the ambiance. So is exuberant singing.
Private balls have more cachet and higher admission costs than public ones.