Go around the world in 29 days with these festive February global celebrations

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February might be the shortest month of the year, but it's certainly not short on excitement! This month is a cultural carousel, spinning us around the world from Japan's snowy sculptures to Brazil's sizzling streets.

But it's not just about the big, famous festivals. February is also a time for some lesser-known but equally fascinating celebrations. Each one has its own story, its own charm, and its own way of bringing people together. From Shove Tuesday round the world (yes, it’s about pancakes!) to the vibrant parades in New Orleans, there's a mix of absolute awesomeness and sunny excitement in the air.

Here, we're going to dive into these festivals, learning what makes each one special. Whether it's about ancient traditions, family gatherings, or just having a great time, there's something for everyone in February.

Taiwan Lantern Festival, Taiwan

When: February 24, 2024
Place: Taiwan

The Taiwan Lantern Festival is an annual festival celebrated on the 15th day of the Chinese New Year, to mark the coming of spring. Picture this - tens of thousands of intricately designed lanterns lighting up the night skies of Taiwan in vibrant colors, creating a dazzling spectacle. Rooted in an ancient tradition , symbolizing hope for the future and dispelling the present darkness, the Taiwan Lantern Festival is a grand celebration.

What's special: There are diverse activities that take place during the festival which include cultural performances, parades, and lantern design competitions. The beauty of this festival is that it brings together the community and fosters cultural pride.

Events in February 2024

Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan

When: February 4 - 11, 2024
Place: Japan

The Sapporo Snow Festival is an annual winter event in Sapporo, Japan. The history of this event can be traced back to 1950, when high school students built a few snow statues in Odori Park. Since then, this has blown into a large, commercialized event, featuring spectacular snow and ice sculptures. The Odori Park is transformed into a snowy art gallery with massive sculptures, designed intricately. The festival is staged on three sites: the Odori Site, Susukino Site and Tsu Dome Site.

What's special: The festival transforms public parks into enchanting art galleries, attracting and featuring skilled sculptures from around the world. While the largest site - Odori Site hosts several concerts and events, many of which use the sculptures as their stage.

Events in February 2024

Mozart Week, Salzburg (Mozartwoche)

When: January 24 - February 4, 2024
Place: Salzburg, Austria

Celebrated to commemorate the birth of Austria's most famous son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Known as the world's music capital, Salzburg has hosted Mozart Week every year since 1956; a festival with the reputation to draw crowds from various corners of the world. The festival pays homage to Mozart's legacy across various venues including the Mozarteum University and the Salzburg Cathedral.

What's special: Unlike the past 5 years of "pure Mozart", 2024 Mozart Week will bring in something new. Along with Mozart, the programme will focus on Antonio Salieri, an Italian composer. History says it was the rivalry with Salieri which prompted Mozart to compose his opera masterpieces from Le nozze di Figaro to La clemenza di Tito.

Events in February 2024

Oruro Carnival, Bolivia

When: 5 February 2024 – 14 February 2024
Place: Bolivia

The Oruro Carnival is a historic festival that spans across ten days, culminating prior to Ash Wednesday. This UNESCO-recognized event which has roots tracing back over 200 years, is a spectacular display of folkloric dance and music. It's a symbolic reenactment of Andean traditions and religious beliefs, merged with Christian rituals.

What's special: The special allure of the Oruro Carnival is embodied in the 'Diablada', a dance meant to represent the struggle between good and evil. Dancers wear elaborate, brightly colored costumes and intricately detailed masks as they move to the rhythms of Andean music.

Events in February 2024

Rio Carnival, Brazil

When: 9 February 2024 – 17 February 2024
Place: Brazil

Known as the biggest carnival in the world, the Rio Carnival is a true manifestation of Brazilian culture and spirit. The streets of Rio de Janeiro buzz with life as locals and tourists alike bask in the vibrancy of the celebrations. Samba schools compete, showcasing elaborate floats and dancers clad in feathers and glitter, personifying the carnival's energetic atmosphere. It's a five-day long festival of joy that displays the rich tapestry of Brazil's diverse population and pays tribute to its African, indigenous, and European heritage, through a spellbinding confluence of music, dance, and pageantry.

What's special: What's captivating about the Rio Carnival are the meticulously choreographed parades from the top samba schools. Each school presents a unique theme, expressed through their vibrant costumes, energetic dance routines, and lavishly decorated floats.

Events in February 2024

Mardi Gras, New Orleans, USA

When: 2 February 2024 - 13 February 2024
Place: Celebrated in different parts of New Orleans, Louisiana

The Mardi Gras carnival has been celebrated since the early 17th century in French colonial tradition. It takes place before Lent and includes parades, masked balls, and floats. People dress in purple, green, and gold and come together to organize festivities. Being a fusion of European, African, and American influences – it’s a celebration of the city’s culture and history held in the French Quarter which has some pretty fancy buildings.

What's special: Apart from the age-old traditions in place, spectators can look forward to watching new krewes every year while digging into slices of the King’s cake!

Events in February 2024

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

When: 16 February 2024 - 3 March 2024
Place: Sydney

The iconic event that is celebrated in Sydney every year is a true manifestation of diversity and inclusivity. A colorful and energetic display that originated as a protest in 1978, has since become a global celebration of LGBTQIA+ pride! The parade itself is a glittering procession of creativity, featuring extravagant floats, vibrant costumes and powerful messages.

What's special: The festival also offers a range of diverse events, from film screenings to parties, that foster a sense of unity and empowerment among the community.

Events in February 2024

Venice Carnival

When: 27 January, 2024 – 13 February, 2024
Place: Sydney

When you step into the enchanting streets of Venice, Italy, during the Venice Carnival, you're instantly part of a historical spectacle that reaches back centuries. Surrounded by a sea of vibrant colors and some truly unique and spectacular masks, you're not just attending a carnival; you're stepping into a world where mystery and history blend in. Wearing a mask here is more than a tradition – it's a throwback to times when social boundaries blurred, allowing everyone to mingle without societal labels. For a few magical days, Venice transforms into a place of thrilling anonymity. Every corner here is a masked face that could tell you a thousand stories. If you’re visiting, we’ve got the perfect guide to indulge you!

What's special: The historic canals and architecture of Venice serve as a stunning backdrop, creating a surreal atmosphere that's heightened by the mix of events, from opulent masquerade balls to traditional street performances. Culinary delights like frittelle and galani add to the experience!

Events in February 2024

Valentine's Day

When: February 14, 2024
Place: Everywhere

Love is always in the air! But Valentine's Day makes it more special. Traditionally marked by the exchange of cards, flowers, and chocolates, the day has evolved into a celebration of all kinds of love. From cozy dinners to thoughtful gestures, people worldwide embrace the spirit of love and appreciation. So, whether you're in a relationship or celebrating self-love, Valentine's Day is an opportunity to spread joy and affection in a world that could always use a little more love. If you're planning a trip around Valentine's Day, here are some global destinations you can travel to!

What's special: In the City of Love - the celebration is amplified with its charming streets, scenic riverbanks, and world-renowned landmarks like the Eiffel Tower. Couples often enjoy intimate dinners in cozy bistros, take romantic strolls along the Seine River, and share moments in gardens like Tuileries or Luxembourg.

Events in February 2024

Shrove Tuesday

When: February 13, 2024
Place: Widely celebrated in Christian countries, particularly notable in the United Kingdom, Brazil (as part of the Carnival), New Orleans (as Mardi Gras), and parts of Europe and Asia.

Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day in the UK, is the day before Ash Wednesday and marks the end of the Shrovetide season. It's traditionally a day of feasting and celebration before the fasting period of Lent in the Christian calendar. Derived from the word "shrive," meaning to confess and receive absolution from sins, originally, Shrove Tuesday served as a final indulgence before the austerity of Lent. Traditions developed around using up rich ingredients like eggs, milk, and butter before fasting began.

What's special: The day is famous for pancake races in the UK, where participants run while flipping pancakes in a frying pan. In places like Brazil and New Orleans, it coincides with extravagant Carnival or Mardi Gras celebrations, featuring parades, masquerades, and street parties.

Events in February 2024

Chinese New Year - Year of the Dragon

When: February 13, 2024
Place: Celebrated globally, especially in countries with significant Chinese populations like China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Chinatowns worldwide.

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is the most important traditional festival in Chinese culture. The Year of the Dragon, one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, is associated with strength, luck, and good fortune. It’s considered a good year for starting new projects, taking risks, and expanding horizons, favoring creative people, entrepreneurs, and anyone looking to express themselves.

What's special: The festival is known for its lion and dragon dances, fireworks, family gatherings, and the giving of red envelopes (hongbao) containing money. The color red, symbolizing luck and prosperity, dominates the decorations. Each year represented by the Dragon is believed to bring in intense energy and is considered particularly auspicious.

Events in February 2024
Events in Dubai - February 2024