Highland-style Rio de Janeiro

If you want to combine ski stunts on a slope with participating in an uncommon party you should come to Bukowina Tatrzańska.  This village in Podhale is nicknamed ‘highland-style Rio de Janeiro’ because of a unique carnival which has annually been organised with great fanfare since 1973. In February, carol singers from all over Poland and regional dancers from Podhale, Spiš or Orava come to Bukowina.  Folk costumes, highlander music, highland robbers’ dances as well as carnival atmosphere guarantee vivid and unforgettable spectacle.
The party begins with a solemn procession of invited highlander bands through Bukowina Tatrzańska, the culmination of which is ‘kumoterki’, a race of two-person small sleighs. Highlander Carnival is an exceptional mixture of tradition, folklore and great entertainment. In the upcoming year, carnival madness in Bukowina Tatrzańska will last 4 days (from 14th to 17th February 2019).

Dancing Vienna

Carnival season in Vienna is remarkable not only because of the number of balls, whose number reaches over four hundred, but also because of its time frame – in the capital of Austria you can dance the waltz already in November (Viennese Red Cross Ball in the town hall, Nov 30th, 2018 *) and  the culminating point is Vienna Opera Ball (Feb 28th, 2019 *). The end of season is as late as the last weekend in March (Vienna Boys’ Choir Ball, Mar 29th, 2019 *). The roots of carnival tradition reach back to the 18th century and the unique festive atmosphere is created by an unusually ceremonial programme.
Ladies are obliged to wear evening gowns or festive folk outfit, gentlemen, in turn, should wear tailcoats or tuxedos, although national outfit is also acceptable.  Arriving to a Viennese ball in a suit and tie is an unforgivable faux pas. Other elements of Viennese etiquette are the opening fanfare, glamorous entrance of dèbutantes, obligatory invitation to dance “Alles Walzer!” (“everybody waltz now!”) or the so-called Damenspende (ladies gift) which is a custom of giving presents to all ladies attending the party. *source: wien.info.pl

Parade and the burial of the sardine

The tradition of celebrating carnival appeared on Canary Islands thanks to Spanish and Portuguese sailors and merchants after the conquest of the islands in 1496. Today it is one of the most important events of cultural life in Tenerife. Most eagerly celebrated in Santa Cruz, the capital of the island, attracts thousands of tourists every year. Throughout the whole week, from midnight until early morning a never ending fiesta takes place. Music is not turned down and in the streets there are plenty of dancers and people dressed in flamboyant costumes. Everybody is having fun regardless of age, gender and origin. One of the highlights of Tenerife carnival is Carnival Queen Selection. Strong emotions are also evoked by Mascarita Ponte Tacón, or high heels marathon in which contestants are men.
Carnival time in Tenerife ends with the burial of the sardine. It is and exceptional parade which takes place on Ash Wednesday which is exactly when Lent starts in Catholic Church. Parade participants march behind a giant platform which carries the statue of a sardine. In this way they say farewell to carnival. The parade has joyful overtones. It ends on the ocean shore where the fish is burnt. Carnival celebration in Tenerife is a moveable feast and most frequently it takes place in February and March. It is definitely one of the most vibrant and eccentric fiestas all over the world, which perfectly reflects the heart and the soul of this island.