The northern hemisphere might still be shivering, but we’ve got a pile of things to do in February that’ll keep you happy no matter where you are.

Carnaval de Québec

Old Town, Québec City, Canada: February 1-17

You won’t be warming up, but you’ll certainly have fun watching what might be the world’s most amazing canoe race: 3.2km through icy water… and occasional portage over icy patches! While you’re not watching others freezing their kahoonies off, you can do it yourself by taking a snow bath — at least three dips in the snow wearing nothing but your swimsuit. You can find cheap flights during this season and take part of this carnival.

Less stupid adventurous? You’ll enjoy the ice sculptures, outdoor dance parties, and some mighty fine food.

The Baguio Flower Festival – Panagbenga

Baguio City, Philippines: February 1 – March 4

This might start on the same day as Quebec’s festival, but it goes for twice as long. The Flower Festival celebrates the end of summer, the cooler days, and life in general. Things culminate in a huge parade, where costumes are colourful — mimicking the local wildflowers — and, in traditional fashion, with parties spilling into the streets.

Mardi Gras

New Orleans, USA: February 12

It really needs no introduction, but if you want to go to one of the world’s biggest parties, make sure you’re in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Parades, parties, jazz, and madness! The businesses might all be shut, but the bars sure aren’t — this is one to go wild at.

The Rio Carnival

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: February 9-12

Did we say Mardi Gras was one of the world’s biggest? Well, it’ll be even more intense in Rio de Janeiro: the party city does what it does best at this time of year. They’re expecting over half a million foreign visitors, plus people from all over the country… So look for accommodation now. Or last year. We spoke with Joel Ward about Carnival, samba competitions, and too much beer (as if that was a real thing!). See the photos or listen to the podcast:

Saidai-ji Eyo (The Naked Festival)

Okayama, Japan: February 16

Let’s finish with a touch of the weird in Okayama, Japan, where the Saidai-ji “Naked Festival” tops the list. According to the Japan National Tourism Organisation, around 9,000 men take part each year, wrestling each other in traditional loincloths for sacred objects, or “good luck charms” as the JNTO would put it.

If you’ve got photos or a story to share about any of these events, we’d love to share them with the Indie Travel Podcast Community. Email us today!

What are you up to in February? Doing something better than this? Tell us in the comments, and make us all jealous.

Your thoughts on "Best things to do in February 2013"

  • I can definitely recommend the Quebec Winter Carnaval. A terrific way to experience French culture while enjoying some winter fun. Be sure to try the "caribou" drink! It will definitely keep you warm.

    on January 20, 2013 at 11:34 pm Reply
    • We try to make sure we don't miss any kind of drink, and caribou sounds fascinating!

      on January 21, 2013 at 5:03 am Reply
  • Winter festivals in rural Japan get quite ridiculous, one of the ones I'll be attending (and maybe partaking in) is this festival in a tiny town http://akitajet.com/wiki/Takeuchi_Festival and http://www.japanprobe.com/2011/02/19/takeuchi-matsuri-dangerous-bamboo-battle-in-japan/ There's also one a couple days later where each participant is given a small hay bale with a rope around it which is lit on fire and swung around your head to guarantee good health for the year.

    on January 21, 2013 at 12:18 am Reply
    • The "bamboo battle" sounds neat, Allanah! I trust Japan is treating you well? (If not, go swing those flaming hay bales around for a bit!)

      on January 21, 2013 at 5:33 am Reply

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