A raw, Scandinavian version of something that looks like it should be held in South America, rather than Northern Jutland, the Aalborg Carnival is a completely different kind of parade.
Each May, the industrial northern Danish city of Aalborg is home to Scandinavia’s biggest street carnival, with around 60,000 participants and 100,000 spectators. Anyone can join in – all you need is a colourful costume and a sense of fun.
Of course, you can expect the traditional carnival staples: large floats, bright costumes, live music and wild dancing. But these are also accompanied by a rough-and-ready Danish approach to drinking (it usually starts at from 11am). Needless to say, the carnival is a heady clash of cultures – and a lot of fun, too.
There are three different staring points for the parade: Mellem Broerne in Nørresundby at 10am; Østerbro 75 in Skat at 10.30am; and Kastetvej 83 in Haraldslund at 11am. But all end up in Aalborg’s Kildeparken, for an all-day celebration with more live music, plus food stands and entertainment.
A separate ‘International Parade’ takes place at 6pm on the 17th May (there’s also a kids’ carnival on 18th May).