Celebraiting New Year Holidays with European Festivals

Venice Carnival, Italy

Every winter, Venice bursts into life with fanciful masked balls and extravagant parades. The city’s narrow, enigmatic backstreets and the beautiful Saint Mark’s Square are taken over by mysterious masked revelers, while elegant gondolas filled with fantasy characters glide up and down its beloved canals.

Venice during Il Carnevale is an explosion of color and fashion creativity, an experience you’ll never forget. Venice Carnival 2019 will be held between February 16 – March 5.

Amsterdam Light Festival, The Netherlands

During the dark winter months, Amsterdam comes to life with a spectacular open-air exhibition called Amsterdam Light Festival. The 53-day event gathers the best national and international light artists to showcase their work throughout the city center and along its picturesque canals.

The 7th edition of the festival takes place from 29 November 2018 until 20 January 2019, and all the fabulous sculptures and art installations on display will gravitate around the theme ‘The Medium is the Message”.

Horizon Festival, Arinsal, Andorra

Held in the ski resort of Arinsal, Andorra, Horizon Festival translates into 7 crazy days and nights, jam-packed with music and mountain fun. And with lots of powdery pistes, some of the hottest names in electronic music, and over 30 hedonistic parties taking place around the lively resort, this is clearly one of Europe’s greatest snow parties.

Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival, Bruges

Winter in Bruges comes with charming Christmas Markets, festive decorations, and the wonderful Ice Sculpture Festival. Every year, artists from all over the world transform this postcard-perfect Belgian town into a winter wonderland, enchanting visitors with their fantastic ice and snow sculptures depicting scenes from various stories.

Cologne Carnival, Germany

Locally known as the “Fifth Season”, Cologne Carnival is undoubtedly the biggest, wildest, and craziest celebration in Germany. It usually kicks off on the 11th of November at 11:11, but it is temporarily suspended during the Advent and Christmas season.

Events include everything from concerts and traditional shows to balls and flamboyant processions. The highlight is Rose Monday Parade (two days before Ash Wednesday), with over 140 floats and thousands of people marching the streets of Cologne.

Momentum Ski Festival, Verbier, Switzerland

One of the best Alpine events for business executives, Momentum Ski Festival comprises the City Ski Championships, the Alpine Business Forum, and a variety of après ski entertainment. Within the course of the event, between January 31st, 2018 and February 3rd, 2019, attendees will be treated to an exciting programme of comedy, live music, and club nights.

For the first time ever, the Momentum Ski Festival will take place in the stylish Italian resort of Courmayeur, at the foot of Mont Blanc.

Altitude Comedy Festival, Mayrhofen, Austria

Every winter, the lovely Tyrolean ski resort of Mayrhofen becomes home to Altitude Comedy Festival, a one-of-a-kind event that combines the adrenaline rush of the ski slopes with some of the biggest comedians in the world. Expect excellent skiing and snowboarding, along with fantastic stand-up and musical comedy, late night parties, and great atmosphere.

The world’s No.1 alpine comedy festival, aka the “Funniest Show on Snow”, runs from 1st-7th April 2019.

Ljubljana Dragon Carnival, Slovenia

Each year on Shrove Saturday, the old center of Ljubljana comes alive with dance, puppet shows, and a colorful parade of masked characters. Also known as Shrovetide Carnival, Ljubljana Dragon Carnival is an excellent cultural experience, offering an insight into the country’s unique Shrovetide traditions.

New Year’s Dive, The Netherlands

If you happen to be in the Netherlands on January 1st, don’t miss their annual New Year’s Dive. Dating back to 1960, the tradition of starting the year fresh with a plunge in the sea is celebrated in more than 60 locations throughout the country. The greatest dive, however, can be observed on the beach of Scheveningen, where over 10.000 brave Dutch swimmers jump together into the chilly waters of the North Sea. One hell of a spectacle!

Fête du Citron, Menton, France

Every February, Menton, a picturesque coastal town on the French Riviera, hosts the Fête du Citron (Lemon Festival). The delightful event includes a series of exhibitions and parades featuring fabulous citrus fruit creations. The 2019 Lemon Festival runs from February 16th to March 3rd, and some of the most spectacular displays can be seen in the Jardins Biovès.