Top 5 Mardi Gras + Carnival Celebrations in the World

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Get your beads and costumes ready! Ever since the first official Mardi Gras parade of 1837, the world has reveled in the bright colors and frivolous savoir-faire of the 47 days that lead up to Easter Sunday.  Literally translated to “Fat Tuesday,” Mardi Gras was designed to satisfy all of our indulgences before giving them up during Lent. While the celebration is called by different names around the world (Mardi Gras or Carnival), the party is for the same reason. Here are the top 5 places to glorify your inner hedonist:

New Orleans, USA   The Big Easy takes the cake when it comes to Mardi Gras celebrations. Although it was not the first city in the United States where Mardi Gras was held (Mobile, Alabama was), there are over 1.4 million people who visit the Louisiana capital to party before they pray. Want to join in the celebration? Click here to explore over 60 hotels in New Orleans!

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil    Carnival in Brazil is an experience unlike any other! From the renowned Samba parade to neighborhood ‘blocos,’ the celebrations are seemingly endless,  with over half a million visitors partying till the break of dawn (and into the next day) alongside the locals, or Cariocas. The pounding of drums and roar of trumpets can be heard everywhere inward from Rio’s famous beaches. The chance to celebrate Carnival in Rio is one that should definitely be taken! Click here to take your pick of hotels in the Carnival Capital of the World.

Nice, France    Over 1 million people gather along the French Riviera to take part in the festivities, fireworks and parades of Nice Carnival. Thousands of performers create floats and costumes that go along with the theme of the year. The Nice Carnival celebration is the oldest and largest in France, and has drawn crowds together since 1294. There is no better place to enjoy the best winter temperatures in Europe while reveling in the thrills of Carnival. Get in on the fun in Nice! Click here.

Venice, Italy    Carnival in Venice is more than a winter celebration, it’s laced into the city’s culture year round. As early as the 12th Century, revelers have gathered in Saint Mark’s Square to celebrate. While decorative masks and stilted performers can be seen along the streets no matter what time of year you’re visiting, the costume contest and Volo dell’ Angelo (Flight of the Angel) are two not-to-be-missed events of Venetian Carnival. If you’re ready to witness the “Colombina” zip-line from the top of Saint Mark’s Basilica, click here!

Sydney, Australia    The first Mardi Gras event in Sydney was actually an LGBTQ Pride Parade. In 1978, over 50 participants were arrested, which eventually lead to changes in civil rights legislation which would allow demonstrators to publicly gather without permit. The event now draws thousands of visitors to celebrate in the Australian capital every year. Ready to party until 8am in Sydney? Click here to find your perfect place to crash!

We hope to see you at one (or all) of these amazing events. Happy Mardi Gras and Carnival!

*featured image via LA Times

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