The Most Popular Carnivals in the World

Source: Chris Graythen / Getty Images

From Uruguayans holding 40-day-long celebrations to Oktoberfesters consuming 7 million liters of beer in Munich, the people of the world have proven that they know how to party.

The term “carnival” often refers to the Catholic celebration of decadence and revelry held before the arrival of Lent, when people fast and abstain from such excess.

To choose the best carnivals in the world, 24/7 Wall St. compiled a list of the world’s cultural celebrations with the most attendants, eliminating niche conventions and music festivals. We focused on events that draw tourists to a place and feature a variety of culturally specific performances, such as music, parades, theatrics, and dance. We also made sure to represent a variety of countries, only selecting the largest carnivals out of dozens in Spain and Italy.

While many of the carnivals on our list stem from this pre-Lent tradition, they have also through the years incorporated strong elements of place and cultural traditions unrelated to religion, and have become vital icons of the countries that host them. Others are completely unique festivals in honor of fortune, loved ones past, the Buddha, and even beer.

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