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European Winter Carnivals

carnaval.com/FECC These European countries can still find snow on the ground when the traditional Carnival time arrives around February. Colonge in Germany lays claim to the largest Carnival in Europe which lasts from   Denmark || Finland || Netherlands ||Germany || Poland || Sweden || Switzerland
There are many stories about the early roots of Carnival, but few disagree it springs from the impulse to celebrate the return of life to the world as signified by the longer days which follow the Winter Solstice. Many are still surprised to discover that the Christmas holiday was originally observed as a more untamed Carnival
International Fair of the Masquerade Games  
Pernik, Bulgaria

Bulgaria's top Kulari Groups as well as many other groups from throughout the Balkans and as far away as Northern Ireland bring their New Year traditions to Pernik every even year mid-January. Pernik is a regional center on the way to Greece 20 minutes from Sophia the capital of Bulgaria.
A former host of the International Carnival City Convention we created a guide to the country in Europe with the most open space per person.  See www.carnivalcities.com/bulgaria

Köln Karneval
Köln, Germany
Beginning on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11:11 and going till Shrove Tuesday

carnaval.com/germany

Kiruna Snow Festival
Kiruna, Sweden
5 days at the end of January

Largest winter Carnival in Northern Europe 

 Kiruna is  ”Snow city” A magical celebration of winter and the Northern Lights. Find a surreal world where daylight only lasts for a couple of hours and temperatures can reach -20c
 Visit the ”Winterland” - in the centre of Kiruna where you can enjoy local specialties like bear steak and reindeer kebab are served in a genuine Swedish Winter atmosphere
One of the world's best ice-sculpture competitions, dog sledge, reindeer and skidoo races. Mr Snowman competition to select the strongest man of the year.   Night parties are held in huge igloos which can accommodate over 200 people 
http://www.eventeve.se/snowfestival/eng/welcome.html

SEARCHKiruna+Snow+Festival 
National Tourist Offices: UK: t 0207 724 5868, 020 7870 5600
US: t 212 949 2333, 212 885 9700 Canada: t 613 241 8553
Australia: t 02 9299 1951
www.sverigeturism.se || www.visit-sweden.com  || www.gosweden.org 

Air and Style Snowboard Contest
Seefeld, Tirol - Austria
3 days mid December

"What can you say about the Air & Style, if you have never been, you will never understand. It is the biggest accumulation of snowboarders in the world. The A&S has also taken a different feel since it arrived in Seefeld. While it held in Innsbruck, once the contest finished, the crowd dispersed to different parts of the city. In Seefeld, the whole town becomes a street festive of biblical proportions"
methodmag.com
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The world’s biggest and wildest jump-snowboarding contest takes over the sleepy resort of Seefeld for one monstrous board and party festival. Air & Style is on air on its own event radio for the whole long weekend. Over 30,000 come ready to contribute to the expected awesome party  Huge TV walls screen the snowboarders as they fly down the runway with MTV blasting out the music between descents. 

www.air-style.com  (official site)
SEARCHAir+and+Style+Snowboard+Contest+Austria 

National Tourist Offices:UK: t 0207 629 0461 US: t 212 944 6880 Canada: t (514) 849-3709 Australia: t 02 9299 3621
 www.austria-tourism.at || www.anto.com || www.austria.org 
Polo World Cup on Snow
St Moritz - Switzerland
the Friday-Monday on the last weekend of January

Mingle with

It’s every sporty blueblood’s chance to be cock of the debutante walkkworldParty.com

The four-day tournament takes place on the frozen lake of St Moritz, organized by the renowned St Moritz Polo Club. The glamorous guests will enjoy the utmost comfort and with the impressive mountain scenery as a background, as the tournament on the lake always aims for a standard that will provide an unforgettable elegant experience.  The catering ranges from the chic VIP tent on the lake to something for each taste and budget,  you'll find barbecue specialties, smoked salmon and a Champagne bar of course. Tickets to the exclusive balls sell out in advance.
T
2002 Report at mrhorse.com

SEARCH Polo+World+Cup+on+Snow+St+Moritz

Zurich Tourist Office:: [email protected] 
t 41-1-288-11-11 fax 41-1-288-12-05
www.swissinfo.ch
  || www.myswitzerland.comswitzerlandtourism.ch/

 
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Last link check Feb-22-06