Even though it's the shortest month of the year, February still feels like it might never end. Where have all the colours gone? Why is no one smiling? What can we do to cheer up? Well, try Carnival 2009, six days and six nights of what looks to be banging Brazilian fun.
Hosted by Guanabara, the huge Brazilian music-dancing-food-drink venue in Covent Garden, we've spotted a masked ball, 4am closing times, a samba parade, free dance classes, face painting (hey, it's a partyl!), live music and carnival traditions in the packed programme. And we're mightily impressed by the range of music and dance styles being imported into our dreary London month of February - as Guanabara strives to point out to Londoners, Brazil ain't just about football, caipirinhas and salsa lessons.
Just a quick glance at the website has expanded our Brazilian vocabulary by threefold: 'carioca' = natives of Rio, 'forró' = a north-eastern Brazilian music and dance style, 'gafieira' = the ballroom style of samba. With all that to see you through this last stretch of February, it's going to be perfectly within your rights to suffer those cachaça hangovers, blistered dancing feet and throbbing ear drums with pride.
Carnival 2009, starts Friday 20 February with samba parade through Covent Garden at 7pm, full Carnival 2009 programme available at the Guanabara website