Carnival celebrations are a spectacle, filled with food, entertainment, live music and colourful, over-the-top costumes. With shimmering feathery headpieces and wooden shoes, it’s an event you won’t want to miss. For many, it’s a time to let loose and indulge one last time before the start of Lent. For others, it’s a way to reflect and celebrate the joy of life. But behind the debauchery, there’s also a rich history to many of these festivals, from masks that allowed people of lower classes in Italy to party freely among the rich to costumes believed to rid bad spirits in Africa. To help you navigate your next carnival celebration around the world, we’ve broken down 19 different parties and what to know before you go.