After the darkness of winter, February 2011 sees an explosion of light and colour, with such lively annual events as Chinese New Year, the Sydney Mardi Gras and the Venice Carnival.

3rd February: Chinese New Year 2011 Â- Year of the Rabbit

Chinese New YearThis year, Chinese New Year falls on the 3rd February and celebrates the year of the rabbit. Usually spent with family and friends, traditional Chinese New Year celebrations last for 15 days and include exchanging gifts, processions, open-air markets and firework displays. If you have the chance, joining in the fun can be an excellent way to access traditional and contemporary Chinese culture, and where better than a traditional hutong townhouse in Beijing? If your budget wonÂ't stretch to a trip to China, just head to your nearest Chinatown.

Book New Years accommodation in China at BedandBreakfastworld.com

19th February - 6th March: Sydney Mardi Gras

Sydney Mardi GrasThe Sydney Mardi Gras is one of the largest gay pride festivals in the world. While officially lasting from the 19th February to the 6th March, the celebrations usually start much earlier and continue well into mid-March. The highlight of Mardi Gras is the parade, a vibrant procession of colourful floats and outrageous costumes which ends in a massive carnival at SydneyÂ's Moore Park Entertainment Quarter.

Visit the official Sydney Mardi Gras website

Book Mardi Gras accommodation at BedandBreakfastworld.com

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26th February - 19th March: Venice Carnival

Venice CarnivalA magical place to visit at any time of year, in the 10 days leading up to Lent the ancient city of Venice is transformed into a theatrical delight. Every twist and turn of the narrow streets brings you to another display of music or theatre, and both performers and spectators are dressed in extravagant costumes with elaborate masks. The whole atmosphere is eerie but undeniably beautiful.

Book a Venice B&B for the Venice Carnival

Do you have a B&B or guesthouse in one of the destinations featured? Visit our sign up page to list your property with BedandBreakfastworld.com.

By: Eleanor Brown

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