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The Dance of the Market Women on the Viktualienmarkt in downtown Munich, Germany, is the highlight of the Fasching celebrations in the Bavarian capital. Their performance lasts about 45 minutes, and yes, they are really women who work at the market.
The Dance of the Market Women on the Viktualienmarkt in downtown Munich, Germany, is the highlight of the Fasching celebrations in the Bavarian capital. Their performance lasts about 45 minutes, and yes, they are really women who work at the market. (Michael Abrams / S&S)
The Dance of the Market Women on the Viktualienmarkt in downtown Munich, Germany, is the highlight of the Fasching celebrations in the Bavarian capital. Their performance lasts about 45 minutes, and yes, they are really women who work at the market.
The Dance of the Market Women on the Viktualienmarkt in downtown Munich, Germany, is the highlight of the Fasching celebrations in the Bavarian capital. Their performance lasts about 45 minutes, and yes, they are really women who work at the market. (Michael Abrams / S&S)
Pipers wearing strange masks and costumes parade through the streets of Basel, Switzerland, during Morgenstraich. It is the highlight of the Basel carnival celebrations, and starts at 4 a.m. on the Monday following Ash Wednesday. Members of the Basel Fastnet cliques criss-cross the old town until the wee hours.
Pipers wearing strange masks and costumes parade through the streets of Basel, Switzerland, during Morgenstraich. It is the highlight of the Basel carnival celebrations, and starts at 4 a.m. on the Monday following Ash Wednesday. Members of the Basel Fastnet cliques criss-cross the old town until the wee hours. (Michael Abrams / S&S)
A girl throws confetti in Cádiz, Spain, during a carnival parade. Cádiz claims to have the third-largest carnival festival in the world.
A girl throws confetti in Cádiz, Spain, during a carnival parade. Cádiz claims to have the third-largest carnival festival in the world. (Scott Schonauer / S&S)
Carnivale participants dressed as clowns tower above the crowded streets of Aci Reale, Sicily, during Carnivale. Part of the tradition is to hit other partygoers on the head with toy hammers.
Carnivale participants dressed as clowns tower above the crowded streets of Aci Reale, Sicily, during Carnivale. Part of the tradition is to hit other partygoers on the head with toy hammers. (Stars and Stripes)

Here is a sampling of carnival events in Europe, as of Feb. 16, 2006. It is wise to confirm information with local city or tourism offices before you travel. (Click to jump ahead to Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.

BelgiumAalst

Carnival Feb. 26-28: Feb. 26, parade, 1 p.m., town center; Feb. 27, onion toss, 2:30 p.m., Grote Markt. Web site: www.aalst.be/carnaval.

Binch

Belgium’s most famous carnival is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Binch is 34 miles south of Brussels. Feb. 26, parade of the Mam’selles 10 a.m.; processions 3 p.m.; Feb. 28, Shrove Tuesday, marches and rites of the Gilles, elaborately costumed men and boys, culminating with fireworks at midnight. Web site: www.visitbelgium.com.

Stavelot

Carnival of the Blanc Moussis March 25-27: Characters dressed in white and with carrots strapped on their noses are focus of events. Web site: www.blanc-moussi.com.

Tournai

March 24-25, with parade in afternoon of March 25.

CroatiaRijeka

Carnival Feb. 25-26: Feb. 25, Masked Marathon; Feb. 26, International carnival parade. Web site: www.ri-karneval.com.

FranceDunkerque

Bands and street festivities, Feb. 26-28; thematic balls, Feb. 18, 25, 26, March 1, 4, 5, 11 and 18. Web site: www.ot-dunkerque.fr.

Nice

Carnival 2006: Roi des Dupes, Feb. 11-28. Parades with floats decorated with flowers and burning of King Carnival at end of Bonfire Parade on Mardi Gras evening. Web site: www.nicecarnaval.com.

Pau

Carnival Biarnes. Highlights: Feb. 18, Mascarade; Feb. 22, bear chase; Feb. 24, festival of the pig; Feb. 25, Faire courir; Feb. 28, Mardi Gras.

GermanyAachen

Children’s costume carnival throughout city center, Feb. 26; Rosenmontagszug, carnival procession, Feb. 27.

Berlin

Parade Feb. 26, 12:11 p.m. Web site: http://karnevals-zug-berlin.de.

Bremen

With samba, drums, horns, dancing, and masked revelers, festivities are Feb. 17-18. Web site: www.bremer-karneval.de.

Buchen, Odenwald

Highlight of Feb. 23-28 events is the Rose Monday parade through streets of Old Town on Feb. 27. Web site: www.buchen-online.de.

Cologne

Feb. 23-28: Feb. 23, Women’s Carnival Day, with opening of the street carnival at 11:11 a.m. in the Alter Markt; Feb. 25, Funkenbiwak, gathering of the corps, Neumarkt; Feb. 26, school group parade, 11 a.m.; Feb. 27, Rose Monday and parade, 11 a.m. Web site: www.colognecarnival.com.

Dietfurt

Chinese-style celebrations, Feb. 23.

Düren

Parade, Feb. 25.

Düsseldorf

Feb. 23-27: Feb. 23, Altweiberfastnacht, when the city’s women besiege the town hall, and street carnival in the old town; Feb. 26, street carnival along Königsallee; Feb. 27, Rose Monday parade. Web site: www.duesseldorf.de.

Erfurt

Old Town Fest and 32nd annual parade, Feb. 26.

Eschweiler

Festivities Feb. 23-27.

Frankfurt

Parade Feb. 26, 1:11 p.m., Untermainkai. Web site: www.rhein-main.net.

Oberammergau

Parade Feb. 28, with “brez’nangeln,” or the tossing of pretzels from a horse-drawn cart. Web site: www.oberammergau.de.

Mainz

One of Germany’s top carnival events, “Meenzer Fassenacht” features honor guards, dance groups, comedians, raconteurs, singing and music ensembles. Up to 120 entertainment events, or Sitzungen, staged during the carnival’s final days; Feb. 26, street carnival; Feb. 27, Rose Monday Parade, 11:11 a.m. Web site: www.mainz.de.

Mittenwald

Highlight of events in Upper Bavarian town is the appearance of the Schellenrührer on Unsinnigen Donnerstag, or absurd Thursday, Feb. 23. Web site: www.markt-mittenwald.de (in German).

Munich

Fasching season is highlighted by hundreds of balls with differing themes and dress codes. One of the highlights of Mad Munich is the Dance of the Market Women at the Viktualienmarkt, Feb. 28 at 11 a.m. Street festivities will be Feb. 26-27. Web site: www.muenchen-tourist.de.

Offenbach

Feb. 23-28: A highlight of Swabian- Alemannic Carnival in southwestern Germany, featuring unique masked characters and a carnival witch. Numerous small towns throughout the region organize festivities Feb. 22-28. Web site: www.narren-spiegel.de (in German).

Thuringia

The town of Wasungen in southern Thuringia has one of Germany’s oldest carnival traditions. A highlight of the Wasungen Carnival is historical procession Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. Web site: www.wasungen.de (German).

HungaryMohács

Mohács Masquerade, or Busójárás: Feb. 26-28, with Buso parade on Feb. 26.

Web site: www.gotohungary.com.

ItalyAcireale, Sicily

Parades of effigies, masked groups, music and folk groups, Feb. 24-28. Web site: www2.comune.acireale.ct.it/carnevale/2006.

Bassano

Near Vicenza: Feb. 25 at 9 p.m., night parade; Feb. 26, parade, 2:30 p.m.; Feb. 28, music, festivities and Mangiamentum, soup-eating tradition. Web site: www.vicenza.com.

Castelnuovo a Voltuno

Il Cervo festivities, Feb. 26. Web site: www.guidabruzzo.it/ilcervo.

Foiano

Festivities Feb. 12, 19, 26 and March 5. Web site: www.carnevaledifoiano.it.

Ivrea

Feb. 25-28. Web site: www.carnevalediivrea.com.

Madonna Campiglio

Hapsburg Carnival, Feb. 22-March 3. Web site: www.carnevaleasburgico.com.

Oristano (Sardinia)

Sartiglia, medieval jousting and acrobatics, Feb. 26 and 28. Web site: www.hellosardinia.com.

Putignano

Parades on Feb. 12, 19, 26 and 28. Web site: www.comuneputignano.it.

Sciacca

Feb. 23-28. Web site: www.carnevaledisciacca.it.

Sondria

Feb. 23, 25, 26 and 28. Web site: www.aptlivigno.it.

Thiene

Near Vicenza: Parade, Feb. 26; children’s carnival, parade, Feb. 28.

Viareggio

Festivities Feb. 12, 19, 26, 28 and March 5. Web site: www.viareggio.ilcarnevale.com.

Verona

Numerous events in Verona and nearby communities: Feb. 19, carnival parade in Montorio, 10:30 a.m.; Feb. 24, parades in Borgo Nuovo, Borgo Santa Croce, and Borgo Primo Maggio, 2:30 p.m.; Feb 26, carnival parade in Corso Porta Nuova, 12:45 p.m., party in Quinzano Square, 10 a.m., parade in Veronetta, 2:30 p.m.; Feb. 28, parade in Porto San Pancrazio, 2:30 p.m. Web site: www.tourism.verona.it.

Venice

Carnival Feb. 17-28. Venetians dress in flamboyant masks and elegant costumes and pose for tourists in the Piazza San Marco, on the city’s bridges and piers or glide by in gondolas on the canals. In the evenings there are fancy balls, usually expensive and mostly sold out. Web site: http://194.243.104.164/carnevale/e_index.html.

The NetherlandsMaastricht

Feb. 26-28.

SpainÁguilas, Murcia

Festivities Feb. 21-28 and March 4.

Alicante, Valencia

Festivities Feb. 23-March 5.

Andalusia

Fiestas de Carnaval held all over Andalusia throughout February. Malaga and Algeciras are among the biggest. Huelva’s carnival is noted for grand costumes.

Feb. 18-20, Alcala de los Gazules, Cadiz; Paterna de Rivera, Cadiz; Tarifa, Cadiz.

Feb. 18-27, Puerto Serrano, Cadiz; Feb. 20, carnival combines with the Chacina Popular Festival; Trebujena, Cadiz.

Feb. 18-28-Barbate, Cadiz.

Feb. 19-23-Nerja.

Feb. 19-20-Sentenil de las Bodegas, Cadiz.

Feb. 20-28, Ubrique, Cadiz.

Feb. 23-March 5, Cadiz Port City.

Feb. 23-March , Malaga. Feb. 23-26, parades and song ; Feb. 24, drag queen competition; Feb. 25; Battle of the Flowers, Feb. 26, Pinata Day and children’s party, Feb. 26, Gran Boquerona and Entierro del Boqueron. Web site: www.carnavaldemalaga.com.

Feb. 24-25, Almuñecar.

Feb. 25-27, Algodonales, Cadiz; El Gastor, Cadiz; Facinas.

Feb. 25-March 5, Conil, Cadiz.

Web site: www.andalucia.com.

Canary Islands:

Lanzarote

Teguise Carnival, Feb. 23-27.

Tenerife

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, “El Carnaval,” Feb. 24-March 5.

Feb. 24, coach parade and fireworks; Feb. 25-27, daily festivities; Feb. 28, anti-carnival and fireworks; March 1, burial of the sardine; March 5, Grand finale and fireworks.

Web site: www.carnavaltenerife.com

Gran Canaria

Las Palmas, Latin carnival, through March 4.

Feb. 24, Drag Queen Day; Feb. 25, Gran Cavalgata, the biggest parade. Web site: www.laspalmascarnaval.com.

Maspalomas

Feb. 26-March 6. Feb. 26, queen of the carnival elected; Feb. 27, carnival princess elected; March 2, drag queen elected; March 5, Grand Parade; March 6, Burial of the Sardine.

La Palma

Santa Cruz de La Palma, Feb. 18-March 5.

Santiago de Compostela

Feb. 28-March 1.

Sitges

Gay-friendly environment.

Feb. 23-March 1.

Vilanova i la Geltrú, Catalonia

Feb. 23-March 1 Web site: www.vilanovaturisme.net.

Vilanueva de la Vera

With the beating of the straw figure of Pero Palo, Feb. 26-28.

SwitzerlandBasel

March 6-8.

Belalp

Feb. 17-26.

Lucerne

Feb. 23-28. Web site: www.luzern.org.

Lötschental

Tschäggätta Carnival, through Feb. 28.

Lugano

Feb. 17-19.

Moudon

Les Brandons, Feb. 17-19.

Zurich

March 3-5. Web site: www.zurichcarneval.ch

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