- Carnival Las Palmas, 15 February – 10 March 2019
For the purpose of this article, the Canary Islands will be considered a part of Europe, even if they are located on the African Plate. Las Palmas is the capital of Gran Canaria and a popular tourist destination. And Carnival Las Palmas is the biggest party it hosts, rivalling Rio’s carnival itself!
Do you want see talented dancers, flamboyant clothing and all the color you shake a festive stick at? Because that’s what you’re getting for Carnival Las Palmas, which has five centuries of history under its belt. Drag Queen Gala – started in 1998 and thus the first one in Spain – is probably the most colorful and extravagant attraction of the event. You’ll party so hard, you might even fall into the sea!
- International Festival Of Pyrotechnic Art, 14 February – 7 March 2019
Speaking of partying hard, have you ever heard of Courchevel? Of course not! However, this village in the French Alps claims to be the leading resort for mountain firework displays. Since it has so far avoided causing a disastrous avalanche that would wipe it off the face of the Earth, I think it’s a solid claim! And that’s why it hosts the International Festival of Pyrotechnic Art!
Every Thursday of the festival season, the show starts with a torch lit descent of a ski school. Then all hell breaks loose as pyrotechnic artists from different countries work to one-up each other in grandiose displays of cloud-exploding. Meanwhile, the village still remains skiing (and snowboarding) resort during the day, so you’ll find something to do even when the artists aren’t trying to destroy the sky.
- Bruges Beer Festival, 2 – 3 February 2019
It is my humble opinion that beer can actually be really tasty, as far as alcohol goes. And while Oktoberfest is, well, in the vicinity of October, there are beer-related events happening in February, too. For example, there’s the Bruges Beer Festival!
It’s a fairly young festival, having started out in 2007. However, it’s already one of Belgium’s greatest. 90 brewers and over 500 beers are to be represented this year. Festival takes place in the centre of the historic Bruges city, so now you too can walk the streets that Colin Farrell moped about in!
- Jorvik Viking Festival, 20 – 27 February 2019
We hope you drink responsibly during the festival in Bruges. After all, we don’t want you to get into any violent brawls! That’s what the Jorvik Viking Festival in York is about! Well, actually, it’s more about Viking heritage and history, and since England got raided so often, they have quite a bit of that, too.
Eric Bloodaxe was the last Viking King of York and Jolablot was a traditional celebration that ended winter and welcomed spring. The Viking festival is a bit newer, what with taking place only for the 35th time. This year, the theme is ‘The Untold Story of Women in the Viking Age,’ which will celebrate the slaughter ladies and murder mavens of the time. There’s really no better way to learn about Vikings influence on England – and to meet the people who will be raiding European coasts for food once Brexit rolls in!
- The Carnival of Venice, 16 February – 5 March 2019
Of course, when you talk about European late winter festivals, you cannot forget the Carnival of Venice. After all, it is what people think of when you mention the word “carnival.” Revived in 1979, it attracts about 3 million people to its 20-day string of parties and events.
There’s the grand ball, of course, but you also have historical Venetian competitions, water parades, mask design contests and more. If you want to dress up like it was Halloween, but also want to be classy for a change, this is your chance!
We sincerely hope that no matter which festival you choose, your trip there will go smoothly. However, if you encounter flight delays, cancellations or overbooking (scandalous!), you should definitely file a claim via Skycop. You can gain up to €600 in compensation, enough to get you started on planning those spring events!