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The second month of the year traditionally plays host to some really interesting events, festival and happenings all across the globe. Here is a list of some of the most interesting events that should have taken place in February 2020 and 2021. However, we only mention the ones that start during the month so you may find some events like the Sundance Film Festival, and the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival missing from the list.
Tapati Rapa Nui
Dates: 1st – 14th February, 2020
Location: Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
Easter Island comes to life during the festival of Tapati Rapa Naui. Although the island is best known for its 1,000 monumental statues, this amazing festival held during their summer month of February is another attraction. The Tapati Rapa Nui celebrates Polynesian pride and hosts a variety of events. From dancing and singing competitions to sporting events such as swimming, canoeing and horse racing, there would normally be no shortage of entertainment. The highlights of the festival include the Haka Pei, where participants of the contest slide down the island’s steepest slope on a banana trunk. Also, most keep an eye out for the infamous Rap Nui triathlon.
Festa de Iemanja
Dates: 2nd February, 2020 / 2021
Location: Rio Vermelho Salvador, Brazil
An Afro-American religious tradition initially celebrated by fisherman and worshippers in Bahia, the Festa de Iemanja is touted to be one of the largest religious celebrations in the candomble tradition. Crowds of locals line the streets of Rio and watch as the honorary boat departs carrying flowers and a variety of gifts for the Queen of Waters.
Dates: 7th – 9th February
Location: Jaisalmer, India: This is a three-day festival marked to celebrate the culture of the desert people in India and is rung with great vigour with traditional folk music and festivities in the city of Jaisalmer in India. The Desert Festival also hosts lots of fun events to embracing the local culture like camel racing, turban tying, and even a competition for the longest moustache. There are also several music and dance programmes that are held during this time along with competitions and trips on camel backs to see the desert sand dunes. This quirky Indian festival showcases the cultural wonders of the desert state of Rajasthan making it a great event to visit to really soak in the culture of Rajasthan.
The Carnival of Venice
Dates: 8th – 25th February
Location: Venice, Italy
The 2-week-long carnival is traditionally held annually in the city of Venice which is during this duration home to many parades, concerts, markets, and the ornate masks that no Venetian festivity is complete without. The annual Venice Carnival festival has been around since the 13th century barring a short time when it was banned during the Austrian conquest from 1798 but was later brought back in 1979. Today this festival of masks continues for a fun two weeks with many free events that are open for the public, so do be sure to check it out.
Freieze Art Fair
Dates: 14th – 16th February : Location: Los Angeles, USA
A highlight of the year for the culturally minded, the Frieze Art Fair in New York usually showcases more that 1,000 contemporary artists and a delight for art lovers to attend.
Dates: 14th – 25th February. Location: Ptuj, Slovenia
Kurentovanje is one of Slovenia’s most highly anticipated and ethnologically significant celebrations. A large part of the major festivities are centred in and around Ptuj, Slovenia’s oldest town, which has been hosting Kurentovanje for over fifty years. The name comes from the mythical figure of ‘Kurent’, believed to have the power to chase away winter and usher in spring. People dress up in a simple costume of a sheepskin hat and outfit, cow bells hanging from a chain belt, red or green wool socks and black boots accompanied by a Kurent mask, the making of which is a major folk art in Slovenia. The leather mask has the eye and mouth holes painted red with a long red tongue and trunk-like nose attached along with twig-whiskers and bean-teeth. The door to door rounds of the Kurent have been added to the UNESCO representative list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
This celebration of spring and fertility pre-Covid mania takes place on Shrove Sunday and traditional rites are accompanied by a plethora of concerts, activities and other attractions, ensuring that this event get over 150,000 visitors each year.
Pingxi Lantern Festival
Dates: 19th February: Location: Pingxi, Taiwan
Let go of the past and embrace the view. Year after year, thousands of people travel to the village of Pingxi for the once-in-a-lifetime Lantern Festival experience. Participants write their dearest wishes on paper lanterns and release them to the night sky in hopes that their prayers will be answered by their ancestors. It is an awe-inspiring spectacle that involves thousands of sky lanterns and everlasting memories.
Dates: 18th – 27th February: Location: Agra, India
The festival normally takes place in the city of Agra, home to the world famous Taj Mahal and starts with a grand procession with performances by traditional drummers, folk artistes, colourfully decorated Elephants and Camels and master craftsmen possessing remarkable dexterity in their respective fields. It is destination to discover the music, dance, poetry of the different parts of India along with exploring the variety of art and crafts of the country. Craftsmen travel from all over the country to display their expertise in their crafts and sell their wares. A Food festival is also organized at the time of the celebrations of the Taj Festival in Agra where visitors can sample some of the exotic local cuisines from different parts of the country.
Santa Cruz De Tenerife Carnival
Dates: 19 February, Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Also referred to as Murgas Canarias Carnival, this celebration of life is the second largest carnival in the world after the Rio Carnival. Enjoy unbelievable costumes set to a theme which have in the past decade included horror films, the deep sea and Bollywood while this year’s theme has been declared as ‘The Coquette 1950s.’ You should watch out for performances by Spanish ‘murga’ street satirists and the closing ceremonial ritual, the ‘Burning of the Sardine’, in which thousands dress as mourners and carry a huge fish head. All in all, a truly flamboyant celebration painting the city in the vividly with a display of local culture and festivities.
The Carnival of Rio de Janeiro
Dates: 21st – 26th February Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Every year, over two million people attend this carnival for a week of extravagance with dancing, colours, and alcohol on the parade to end all parades. It takes places during the five days preceding the Catholic season of Lent, 40 days before Easter. Although these celebrations occur all over the world, particularly in Catholic countries, the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro is by far the largest and most popular.
Celebrated at the end of a hot Brazilian summer, the highlight of the celebrations is the world-renowned Carnival parade in the Sambadrome. There are also hundreds of street parties called ‘blocos’ that take place in the city, along with the more traditional costumed balls called ‘bailes’ but the heart of Carnival lies with the Samba which is a ritual dance whose origin belongs to the slave trade.
The Carnival originated sometime in the 18th century when Portuguese colonialists co-opted African slave traditions into their own religious practices. This gave birth to a celebration they called ’Entrudo’, which was adopted by the Brazilians. Today, the Rio Carnival has morphed into an electrifying, mega-celebration that has become an important touchstone of Brazilian culture. Most commercial and industries in Rio shut down completely during the period as everyone joins in the party.
Dates: Until 23rd February, Location: Great Rann of Kutch salt desert, India
The Rann Utsav, set against the backdrop of Kutch’s breathtakingly beautiful white salt desert, was established to showcases the region’s culture and heritage. The event includes everything from offering such as folk dances, music performances, ATV rides, camel cart rides, paramotoring, meditation, and yoga to food stalls, and trips to surrounding destinations. As there is no permanent settlement on the salt desert, a luxury tent village is set up for the duration of the festival right on the fringe of the salt desert to offer visitors an opportunity to explore this area during the festival. The best time to visit is on full moon nights when you can witness the tranquil moon shimmering on the salt.
Dates: 25th February 2019 Location: New Orleans, USA
Although the Mardi Gras celebration starts earlier, the last day of the carnival season known as ‘Fat Tuesday,’ is when the celebrations are at their peak. This makes it the most popular time to visit New Orleans as witnessed by the 1.4 million visitors that take to the streets to participate in the city’s iconic parades and festivities.
The legacy of Mardi Gras can be traced to European Carnival celebrations during the 17th and 18th centuries and celebrated world over but New Orleans’s unique Mardi Gras customs make the city’s celebration particularly renowned. The New Orleans connection dates back to when explorer Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville on arriving at Louisiana in 1699 and realizing it was the eve of the holiday declared a plot of land ‘Pointe du Mardi Gras’. The present-day city of New Orleans was established around that area and ever since then, the Mardi Gras parades and masquerade balls have become an annual tradition in the southern city. Among other traditions on the origin of the non-stop partying is how on the Twelfth Night ball, a cake was cut, and whoever found the bean inside would host the next ball.
Pre-lockdown, Mardi Gras balls are elaborate affairs with kings, queens, royal courts, and an abundance of pomp and pageantry and while most balls are invitation-only, everyone is welcome to attend the parades. Along the parade route, costumed riders on sparkling paper-maché floats toss “throws” to the surrounding crowd. The last day of the Carnival season never disappoints with beads, parades, music, and dance. Source
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Categories: Ethnic traditions