Event-o-Rama: 12 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:

  • It’s chic to be a map geek during the 20th annual Miami International Map Fair (February 2-3). Ditch the GPS for a weekend of cartographic bliss, where antique atlases, maps, and books reign supreme. Part of Viva Florida 500 – a statewide initiative celebrating the quincentennial of Ponce de Leon’s arrival – this year’s fair also showcases the Sunshine State’s vibrant history.
  • Forget the Super Bowl and touch down in Cardiff, Wales for the official kickoff to this year’s Six Nations Championship rugby series (February 2). Rival neighbors Wales and Ireland compete in what promises to be an electrifying match in the tournament’s opening week. The team that comes in last is awarded the wooden spoon.
  • For a tiny country, Trinidad and Tobago knows how to throw one big party. On February 11, Carnival fever will take over the Caribbean island in a crescendo of street parties, parades, and calypso music. Not a morning person? Beware: The action begins at 4:00 a.m. with the raucous and colorful J’ouvert festivities.
  • Australia’s westernmost metropolis invites visitors to get creative (and inspired) at the 60th annual Perth Festival (February 8-March 2). From film to literature, music to theater, this three-week-long event celebrates all that is artistic.
  • Join the residents of Reykjavik in a collective thaw during Museum Night (February 8). In a paean to the impending spring, the Icelandic capital’s museums remain open past midnight, and will be offering free admission and transportation between all venues to boot.
  • Two rivers. One hundred million people. Those are the numbers for Allahabad’s Kumbh Mela festival, a Hindu gathering at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. Every twelve years, revelers take the plunge to wash away their sins during this epic gathering, with more than 35 million bathers expected to wade into the waters on the festival’s peak day (February 10).
  • Mardi Gras may be synonymous with New Orleans at this time of year, but backcountry Louisiana offers a more modest alternative. Rural communities like Church Point celebrate Fat Tuesday the Cajun way at the Courir de Mardi Gras (February 8-10), where groups travel from house to house, begging for food that will be used to make a communal gumbo at the end of the route. 
  • Those aren’t stars you’re seeing. To kick off the Lunar New Year in Taiwan, thousands of lanterns will fill the sky above New Taipei City during the culmination of the  2013 Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival (February 24). Two earlier “launch” dates embrace the themes of love (February 14) and dreams (February 17).
  • Gastronomy and the arts collide in singular French-Canadian harmony during Montréal En Lumière (February 21-March 3). Drawing about a million attendees, including foodies and families alike, the winter festival concludes with une nuite blanche – an all-nighter.
  • Its roots are staked in a distant past, when the citizens of Anchorage, Alaska organized a city-wide festival to assuage the doldrums of their long winter. Nearly 80 years later, Fur Rondy (Februrary 22- March 3) captures the spirit of the Last Frontier with dog-sled races, snowshoe softball, snow sculpting, and the costumed Miners and Trappers Charity Ball.
  • Zanzibar plays host to Sauti Za Basura, an African music and film festival that honors the sounds of the continent from February 14-17. Artists representing a diverse array of countries including Senegal, Ghana, Comoros, and Burkina Faso unite in the island nation’s Stone Town district, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Literary elites from all over the world flock to Granada, Nicaragua for the International Poetry Festival (February 17-24). More than 100 poets from 70 countries participate in seminars and readings intended to bring out the Byron in all of us.

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


  1. Eva Greenwald
    Westport, CT
    February 10, 2013, 12:25 am

    Ditto to the request for these wonderful national and international events at least 6 months in advance so I can get my travel clients flights and hotels at reasonable prices. Thanks!

  2. wendy
    Brisbane, Australia
    February 9, 2013, 6:20 pm

    I’d like to get info on the next month ahead, at least, as there isn’t enough lead time to organise leave and travel when we are only looking at the current month.

  3. maria chiara
    turin, italy
    February 8, 2013, 2:07 pm

    The carnival of Ivrea with the 3days orange battle. It starts this sunday, don’t miss it!

  4. Greta
    February 8, 2013, 12:02 am

    Definitely! Would love to see it for the whole year too…. for holiday planning.

  5. Dorothy
    maine USA
    February 7, 2013, 5:39 pm

    the US National Toboggin championship happens in camdem maine Feb8-10 th

  6. Leonardo Antônio Custódio Souza
    February 7, 2013, 1:05 pm

    How about the Brazilian Carnaval???? It’s in February too!

  7. Emi
    February 7, 2013, 12:59 pm

    Ahh yea I forgot, the Berlinale or Berlin Film Festival!!!

  8. KLB
    February 7, 2013, 12:33 pm

    Please post the events 2-3 months in advance so we can get cheaper airfares and book rooms. This is a great resource but we hear about it when it’s too late.
    My husband and I are young retirees and have time to go to these events but we need more notice to make travel arrangments and board pets. Please list these events earlier.
    Thanks Much!

  9. Patrick
    Washington, DC
    February 7, 2013, 9:22 am

    I’d second the recommendation to build a year-long version. It’s a great resource, but by the time I see this in early February, it is too late to get affordable plane tickets or hotels to these locations.

  10. Marly
    United States
    February 7, 2013, 9:17 am

    Carnival in Barranquilla Colombia. Pretty big in the country and just like in Brazil is about a week to 5 days of parties and parades as well as beer festivals and block parties. Finishing up with Ash Wednesday.
    Another cool carnival is in Salvador Bahia Brazil. with the afro blocos and parades as well.

  11. David Martin
    Saranac Lake, NY
    February 7, 2013, 9:11 am

    I think you should add The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, Feb. 1-10, 2013 is the longest-running event of its kind in the eastern U.S. Now celebrating its 116th anniversary.

  12. Rob
    February 7, 2013, 8:39 am

    don’t forget about Fasching week in Germany. Where the women take over town hall, cut men’s ties off and give them kisses.

  13. Gemma
    Santiago, Chile
    February 6, 2013, 9:41 am

    I’d add carnaval in Brazil! Also, if anyone’s heading to Chile in Feb here’s a run down of all the February festivals :)

  14. Aroenjava Adventure
    February 6, 2013, 8:12 am

    Pasola Jousting Festifal in Sumba, East Nusatenggara.

    Neptune Regatta, journey across the equator from 10th -16th February.

    Kiteboarding Asian Championship Tour 2013 start on 20th till 24th February.

  15. Leonardo Gluskoski Esperança
    February 6, 2013, 8:06 am

    The real Carnival in Rio!

  16. Lara
    February 3, 2013, 7:04 am

    In differents places of Spain February is time to the “carnival”.The two most famous are in Cádiz (south of Spain), with a lot of parades with everyone disguesed with original fancy dress. Also, there is a big competition where some singers groups have to sing a “Chirigota”, a kind of song that is a parody of real life.
    By other side, the other most famous carnival in Spain, is Canarian carnival. In this case, people have to choose the queen carnival among many beautifull girls with amazing dresses.

  17. Beth
    Missouri, USA
    February 2, 2013, 9:38 am

    I would love to see this for the rest of the year! It’s very helpful for vacation planning!!

  18. Nicole leaper
    toronto, ontario, Canada
    February 1, 2013, 7:50 am

    Starting this weekend in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, is Winterlude , a 2weeklong celebration centered on skating on the worlds longest skating rink which forms on the Rideau Canal, a unesco world heritage site. There are lots of nice warm huts on the canal to have snacks and rent skates. A highlight for me is the international ice carving competition