Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the start of Lent. Traditionally, Mardi Gras is a day for Christians to indulge in rich foods – a last hurrah of sorts - before they participate in fasting during the days leading up to Easter Sunday. Some locations are well known for their Mardi Gras festivities. If you don’t yet have plans for next Tuesday, there’s still time to visit one of these destinations.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The Big Easy holds the largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States. Parades are held in the weeks proceeding Mardi Gras, and audiences can gather many souvenirs as the krewes (parade participants) throw out beads, candy, stuffed animals, and more. While many tourists spend their time on Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, it is important to note that the French Quarter is not exactly a kid-friendly atmosphere. For more information on New Orleans’s Mardi Gras, visit www.mardigrasneworleans.com
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This city has been regarded as the Carnival capital of the world. Carnival is the extended celebration from January until Ash Wednesday. As the entire city celebrates together, social classes are cast aside for several days. In the days of slavery, this was even extended to slaves, who were freed for several days in order to participate in the celebration. Parades, music and costumes create a sensory experience that travelers will never forget. Rio Carnival information can be found at www.rio-carnival.net
Venice is one of the original Mardi Gras cities. Venice party-goers wear elaborate masks to disguise their identities, and in this unique water-based city, parade floats literally float through the canals. An English translation of the official website is available at http://www.carnevale.venezia.it/?slang=en
Whether you head to a well known Mardi Gras festival, or you celebrate a little closer to home, the staff at RoamRight wishes you a happy and safe celebration.
Where do you like to celebrate Mardi Gras?
Tell us about them in the comments below.