Venetian masks ... Cold hearts ... Hippy shakes
WHAT'S ON WORLDWIDE
Sunday 14 February 1999
If you fancy something a little more sophisticated, Venice should be your destination. The Venice Carnival is a combination of extravaganza and intrigue. Renaissance costumes, Venetian masks and baroque music set the scene, and the carnival reaches its climax on Shrove Tuesday with the burning of the effigy of Carnival in Piazza San Marco.
Rio de Janeiro's carnival is probably the most spectacular and certainly the craziest. On the Friday before Shrove Tuesday, the city's mayor symbolically hands the keys of the city to King Momo, monarch of the carnival, signalling the start of the five-day party. The inescapable Samba School Parade, in the Sambodromo arena, lasts 12 hours - so be prepared for a hip-swaying marathon.
Today, romantic, sporty people can race down the slopes with their loved ones at the Romantic Couples Ski Race in the Cairngorms. Expertise on skis is not essential, but you must wear your heart on your sleeve. The winning couple will be awarded a romantic dinner in a hotel, while the second-placed love-birds will enjoy a special Valentine's cake.
Carnival in Trinidad begins a couple of days before Ash Wednesday (17 February), but preliminary competitions for the coveted title of Carnival King and Queen get underway in the previous week. Masquerade bands take to the Caribbean island's streets and thousands of revellers join in the parade, shaking their stuff until the sun comes up.
In New Orleans, Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday) is a showy parody of traditional celebrations. Parading groups - known as krewes - mock politicians and compete to be the most outrageous. Major-league consumption of alcohol contributes to make this carnival the most anarchic party held in the US.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
- 2 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 3 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - Y...