Festivals of the West: Where to go this February!

The Rio Carnival-01

The southern hemisphere has welcomed its hottest month February and raising the temperatures further is the Rio de Janeiro carnival. It is the place to be in just before you turn saintly for lent. The parades, samba dancers on the streets and the partying into dawn is a farewell of sorts to the earthly pleasures right before the fast of lent begins. An overdose of fun!

There is no one place to flock to in Rio. The Samba parades are happening at the Sambadrome and balls are being organised at the Copacabana beach And about everywhere in between these two places you will find the streets thrumming with revelry.

Tickets to the general grandstands for the samba shows are usually sold on a first come first serve basis. International brokers can also help you procure tickets albeit to the luxury boxes way in advance of your visit. This year the carnival is from the February 6 to February 10.

The music is so upbeat that you cannot but help yourself to shaking a leg. The style of dancing in Rio is called the batucada where the dancers can sing, dance and parade all at once. The instruments used are usually percussion providing the beats to the entire city to party the hardest they would in the year.

The Battle of Oranges

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At the same time the Rio de Janeiro folks party it out, the Italians celebrate their fat Tuesday hurling oranges at one another. The battle of oranges is celebrated in the town of Ivrea in Italy. This festival takes its roots from the story of a feisty young girl who decapitated a feudal lord who tried to have his way with her. With rebellions in its roots, this festival celebrates a revolution and is not for the faint hearted.

In this grand staged role-play of sorts, the orange hurlers are the revolutionaries and the participants in the carriages are their feudal tyrants. You might be tempted to draw parallels with much publicized La Tomatina festival of Spain but this festival is found to be more aggressive and you shall not leave without pulp on you. So be extra prepared with your Armour and an emergency visit to the first aid camps with a bruise or two.

Be safe and be sure to log onto Fxkart.com for the best foreign exchange rates before your travel.