16 Carnaval Cities for 2004  
The paper of record for the America's  most international City miami.com or the Miami Herald picks 16 Carnaval Cities for 2004. miamiherald.com - The miamiherald home page
We enhanced and condensed their picks. We endorse them as well although only 3 of Carnaval.com's 9 featured Global Cities are mentioned (Rio , TnT, & Veracruz) it is a thoughtful mix including two provocative French Caribbean pairings on the original page: Trinidad & Haiti plus Martinique & St. Lucia.
The most original selection is Rethymno  a City on the Mediteranean island of Crete which has a strong web site in Greek, English & Deutsch. In late May of 2005 the international conference of Carnival Cities organized by the FECC (Foundation of European Carnival Cities carnivalcities.com) will meeting nearby in Malta on the island of  GOZO. Throughout the history of civilization, no island group has  greater served as a bridge between cultures. Gozo is believed to hold Calypso's Cave where the beautiful nymph  Calypso kept Odysseus as a 'prisoner of love' for seven long years which might also be interpreted as 7 millenniums which is when Gozo's history begins according to recently revised dating of its megalithic temples .
The 2004 Carnival City Convention also shares pre-historyDownload myths with us as the archeological remains around the great Festival of Masks in Pernik are 6,000 years old.  Pernik hosts the Bulgarian Carnaval which best honors the ancient Carnival traditions of masking throughout Eastern Europe carnaval.com/bulgaria Pernik is located near the great European City of Sofia, our 2004 Carnival Capital City. Pernik's International Festival of Masks occurs in late january in even years. Here are a few other Winter Carnivals New England Winter Carnivals || Western USA Winter Carnivals || European Winter Carnivals || Canadian Winter Carnivals
his 2004 list makes no claims to listing the best Carnavals, unlike the now gone worldparty.com list of 2002 although 7 of these 16 selections also appear on this top 14 list. We also reviewed the best new festival site of 2003 here, 2camels along with its 10 Carnival picks. The matches between these two lists could allow us to name the top Carnavals of the Americas by language: English Trinidad, Spanish Vera Cruz, MX and Portuguese Rio
Carnavals are simply annual events where the people and their institutions agree to put aside their problems and focus on creating unforgettable festivities through tradition, creativity, music, dance and story. Happy Carnaval!
Pre-Lenten: Basel, Switzerland || Dusseldorf  ||Venice || Rethymno || Rio de Janeiro || Oruro || Cadiz || Veracruz || Trinidad|| Haiti ||  Martinique ||
Aalborg || St. Lucia || Antigua || U.S. Virgin || Barbados
  TIPS WHEN & more info FOTOS
Basel, Switzerland      
 Fasnacht, it's three days and nights of continuous partying kicked off by a huge bonfire parade (known as Chienbesen) in the small and nearby town of Liestal.
In an average year, more than 12,000 people will participate in the festivities including the famous Morgestraich, a parade of huge lanterns through the center of a totally darkened Basel beginning precisely at 4am. There are two main processions in Basel, one on Monday and one on Wednesday
purchase a Plakette (carnival badge) from street vendors to help offset the considerable costs for groups who help put on the carnival. Rowdy or even excited  dancing is discouraged Details: Fasnacht runs from March 1 to March 3. Information: Basel Tourist Office, (011-41-61) 268-6868; .baseltourismus.ch, www.fasnacht.ch.  
Dusseldorf, Germany || top ||  
Karneval is celebrated in many cities around Germany, Düsseldorf's massive Rosenmontag parade on the Monday before Shrove Tuesday often draws more than a half-million revelers.
 The revelry kicks into high gear on Dusseldorf's signature Alt Weiberstag (Old Hag's Day) on schmutziger Donnerstag (dirty Thursday),
During Old Hag's Day women take to the streets with scissors to snip off ties and playfully harass men in exchange for a kiss. Details: Karneval runs from Feb. 19 through Feb. 25. Information: German National Tourist Board at duesseldorf.de.  
Venice, Italy   || top ||  
 Venice holds title to the most distinctive and exquisite Carnevale Masks The traditions that are known today began when the government gave residents permission to wear a mask, creating an ambience where ordinary people and nobles mixed together. Italy often is cited as a birthplace. The procession of floats used in Rome during purification and exorcism rites that were celebrated in February, the last month of the Roman calendar. Revived in 1979, the masked balls are very popular with the wealthy and elite but everyone can participate in 'official'' carnival ends with a final grand ball on Shrove Tuesday in St. Mark's Square. Venice Carnival runs from 3 weekends before Carnaval to Carnaval Tuesday (Feb. 7 to Feb. 24.2004) Information: carnivalofvenice.com
Rethymno, Crete   || top ||  
On Shrove Tuesday, parties erupt in Platano Square at the Church of Mikri Panaghia. The Great Parade of more than 5,000 masked revelers and carriages passes through town on the night of Shrove Friday and ends with the official carnival farewell at the central square.
Come Shrove Monday, the nearby village of Meronas at the base of Mount Psiloritis holds carnival games and stages satires such as ''kidnapping of the bride'' and ``Kantis.''
Revived by locals in 1960, this carnival brings back the days of mandolin-toting troubadours and massive communal treasure hunts with more than 50 teams. Carnival runs Feb. 23-29. Information: Greek National Tourism Organization:


 greektourism.com .

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil || top ||  

Rio has the circus beat as the ''greatest show on earth.''Broadcast to dozens of countries, the extravagant parades remain the highlight of the carnival. Every year on the Sunday and Monday preceding Fat Tuesday, more than a dozen samba schools compete in categories of costumes, choreography and percussion in the massive Sambadrome. Tickets are available to tourists but come at a hefty price.
Rio's Carnaval officially begins on Friday making it a mythologically correct 5 day Carnaval not the 4 day often cited and all these nights have fantastic parades at the Sambadrome which also a street fair next to it. A pre-Lenten Carnaval during Brazil's summer


Oruro, Bolivia   || top ||  
Oruro's devilish celebration is a centuries-old tradition that has survived since pre-Colonial days. Processions and events take place during the eight days preceding Ash Wednesday.

There are many different types of dance groups. The most famous is diablada, or devil's dance, the figures of Satan and Lucifer St. Michael the archangel and the devils.
Oruro has little tourist infrastructure and the Bolivian Carnaval tradition of throwing water balloons and eggs can get intimidating. Taking a 1-day Carnaval Tour bus from La Paz is best Carnival runs Carnaval Saturday to Carnaval Tuesday (Feb. 21-Feb. 24, 2004.) Information: mcei-bolivia.com .  
Cadiz, Spain   || top ||  
The parties, parades and processions run a week before and after Shrove Tuesday, attracting visitors from all over the country and abroad. Singing groups or agrupaciones, sometimes with more than 40 members, roam the streets, mocking current events and prominent figures. The apex is the Concurso de Falla, a seriously competitive song festival held in the elaborate Gran Teatro Falla. Cadiz, as a strategic port is one of Europe's oldest Cities. Although Spain has abolished carnival numerous times during its history, Cadiz has been impervious to the prohibtions Though the parties officially run Feb. 19-29, the main events and parades take place Feb. 21-23. Information: .cadiznet.com .  
Veracruz, Mexico   || top ||  
"the greatest and wildest mainland carnival between New Orleans and Rio."
 It all ends on Ash Wednesday with the ''exhumation'' of the mythical Juan Carnaval, when thousands take ashes from the Catholic Church in the zocalo in a mock funeral where the deities of the carnival season are buried.
The highlight, though, is the elegant dances and rhythmic costumes of the bailes tropicales groups. Veracruz's carnaval runs from February 17-25. Information: Mexico Tourism Board at 

Vera Cruz, MX by Carnaval.com

Mexico official site: visitmexico.com  

Aalborg, Denmark   || top ||  
 "one of the largest and wildest in Europe" with more than 25,000 people participate in the grand parade
best known for its Battle of Carnival, which attracts Carnaval contingents from all over the world.
After the main parade the international carnival bands leads a samba through the city streets, the groups perform one at a time. Aalborg karneval starts with the children's carnival on May 20 and climaxes with the Battle of Carnival on May 21 and 22. Information: karnevaliaalborg.dk  
Trinidad and Tobago   || top ||  
"the largest and most popular carnival in the Caribbean"
Creator of not only steelpan and calypso but also the most imitated Carnival art forms of the 21st century. This music and dance fuels the largest attended parade in North America
Brooklyn Carnival.    the largest annual festival in Canada Toronto's Caribana and the once and hopefully future largest street fair in Europe Nottinghill Carnival
Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad. is considered the motherland of Caribbean Carnival Trinidad
 Haiti   || top ||  
For the adventurous, Haiti's kanaval often brings out more than a million people in Port-au-Prince, including the numerous raras (or bandes-a-pieds), marching bands that roam the streets.
While daylight hours are more for families and children, things can get rowdy after darkHaitian carnaval has often had serious and political connotations
Most intrepid visitors usually hang around the Holiday Inn or come in for a day from the Dominican Republic A pre-lenten affair for the French Patois speaking country www.kanaval.com .
St. Lucia   || top ||  
Hundreds of calypso players will compete for the coveted Calypso Monarch Crown. Due to its mid-summer timing, calypso and soca bands from Martinique, Guadeloupe and Dominica descend upon the tiny island for its popular carnival. Their Jouvert with lots of steelpan on the road, plenty of mud and mixed drinks is a great way to beat the heat and feel the strong community bond mid-July www.st-lucia.com.  
Martinique   || top ||  
Martinique is proud to keeps the Carnaval running for another 24 hours through Ash Wednesday  following its all Red Shrove Tuesday with a day of revelers dressed only in black and white There is more Caribbeaning sytle feting than at Latin Ash Wednesday closing ceremonies. Here the effigy of Vaval is burned and buried to signify the end of  carnival Ash Wednesday is The Day of the She-Devils or La Fete des Diablesses with the slogan

''rejoice today, repent tomorrow.''

 Martinique's Carnival is pre-lenten  martinique.org   
Antigua   || top ||  

Though it was originally organized as a one-day event for the coronation celebrations for Queen Elizabeth, August Monday became an annual fixture and declared a public holiday in 1956
Antigua's carnival has special meaning in celebrating emancipation with the earliest abolition of slavery in the British Caribbean. The Antigua carnival runs from July 23 to Aug. 8 2004 Information: antigua
carnival.com  .
U.S. Virgin Islands   || top ||  
St. Thomas' carnival was moved to April to avoid the torrential rains of the summer and now spans a month's time.   St. Thomas' carnival runs April 24 to May 1, 2004. Information: 800-372-8784 or www.usvi.net  
Barbados   || top ||  
Officially known as Crop-Over, this carnival-style celebration dates back to the 1800s and lasts five weeks in celebrating of the end of harvest. Revived in 1974 and integrated with elements of Barbadian culture as well as Trinidadean carnival traditions and considered the national festival where thousands of expatriates and carnavelescos return home. Sound systems are loud, take earplugs. The competitions are amazingly strong for a small population Starting in early July, things grow wilder every week before climaxing on the first Monday in August with a massive parade known as the Grand Kadooment.  
Pre-Lenten: Basel, Switzerland || Dusseldorf  ||Venice || Rethymno || Rio de Janeiro || Oruro || Cadiz || Veracruz || Trinidad|| Haiti ||  Martinique ||
Aalborg || St. Lucia || Antigua || U.S. Virgin || Barbados
|| top || Carnival 2004 picks by miami.com
Global Carnaval Caribbean | Europe | www.carnivalcities.com
Winter Carnivals
New England Winter Carnivals || Western USA Winter Carnivals || European Winter Carnivals || Canadian Winter Carnivals

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