Event-o-Rama: 10 Must-Dos in February

There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in February:

  • Carnival season is upon us, so why not take part in an event that inspired many other pre-Lenten celebrations around the world? Head to the “City of Masks” for the Venetian Carnevale (February 15-March 4) to join in the flamboyant revelry, including live music, jousts, theatrical performances, and the highly anticipated masked ball, the Gran Ballo delle Maschere. 
  • Celebrate Africa’s musical diversity at the 10th-ever Festival sur le Niger (February 5-9) in Ségou, Mali. The annual cultural extravaganza, which was downsized due to political strife in 2013, makes a triumphant return this year with an impressive line up of performers and art exhibits–and a strong message of peace. 
  • Each year millions converge on Sapporo for one of the largest winter events in Japan, the Sapporo Snow Festival (February 5-11). For seven days, the city is transformed into a veritable wonderland, complete with ice slides, a snow maze, and hundreds of sculptures crafted from ice and snow.
  • Get a taste of “Sea Island Creole” and honor a distinctive cultural heritage in the American South at the Gullah Celebration (January 31-February 23) in Hilton Head, South Carolina. The fete features a traditional Gullah concert, an art exhibit and sale, and a craft and food expo.
  • With hundreds of events spread over nine days, the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (February 1-9) in Mumbai is an experience you don’t want to miss. Every year, thousands of revelers take in a vibrant olio of art, music, food, and film at an incredible cost: free.
  • Want to bulk up this winter? Add some padding to your belly during Maslenitsa (February 24-March 2) in Moscow. In addition to serving up a heaping helping of blini–warm, golden pancakes–in the lead-up to Lent, sledding, snow sculptures, snowball fights, and sleigh rides round out this mouthwatering event.
  • Hoping to add some color and style to your home, but don’t want to break the bank? Head to Brussels for the Affordable Art Fair (February 7-10), which hosts a wealth of original paintings, prints, sculptures, and photography guaranteed to suit any budget.
  • Support homegrown arts and entertainment at the annual New Zealand Fringe Festival (February 7-March 2) in Wellington. This grassroots event serves as a launch pad for new talent by accepting anyone who has the audacity to perform in front of an audience. Take the plunge yourself, if you dare, or simply discover the next big thing.
  • Shake off those cold-weather blues at the 36th annual Winterlude (January 31-February 17) in Ottawa and Gatineau, Canada. From hockey tournaments to ice sculptures, local cuisine to the world’s largest skating rink, this fun-filled (and family-friendly) event will turn that frown upside down.
  • In search of some warmer weather? Head to Puno, Peru–the “Folk Capital of the Americas”–to honor the city’s patron saint at the dynamic Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria (February 1-14). The colorful event–a blending of indigenous and Catholic cultures–features an extravagant procession and days filled with music and dance on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

What would you add to the list? Let us know what we’re missing by leaving a comment.