Top five carnival and Mardi Gras festivals around the world

Although Carnival and Mardi Gras are synonymous with Rio de Janerio in Brazil and New Orleans in the United States, the festival has its roots elsewhere. French for “Fat Tuesday,” Mardi Gras is a major tourist attraction in any city where it is celebrated. Chief Information Officer Olivier Dombey said: “This is traditionally a wild event known for its flamboyant costumes, festive balls, loud music, and all-night partying, but it actually draws its cultural origins to rituals and traditions that date back thousands of years.

For travelers suffering from a case of Carnival and Mardi Gras fever, here is a brief overview of the top five festivals on the planet:

New Orleans Mardi Gras

For anyone in North America, New Orlean’s Mardi Gras is the big daddy of all carnival events. This celebration dates back to the 1730s soon after the city was first established. It has its own unique traditions of “Krewes,” “Big Chiefs,” and, of course, the throwing of beads. To find out how the action unfolds and where to wine and dine, read through’s “Mardi Gras: ‘Phat’ Tuesday’” event article. For the best hotel deals in town, also look through New Orleans Hotel Promotions starting from as low as US$45 per night.

Trinidad & Tobago Carnival

The Trinidad & Tobago Carnival is one of the most popular events of its kind in the Caribbean. It is famous for “Soca”, a drum and percussion-based Caribbean Calypso that gets participants and visitors grooving to the carnival beat. This festival truly has eclectic influences; find out all about it in’s “Trinidad & Tobago Carnival the Ultimate Rave” event feature. For the lowest rates around, scroll through Port of Spain Hotel Promotions that start from US$129 per night.

Rio de Janero Carnival

Rio de Janeiro Carnival is Mardi Gras’ “Mecca” in a country where almost every city or town organizes its own festival. There are way too many events on in Rio to list here; better to read through’s “Rio Carnival: Pure, Unadulterated Hedonism” event article. Rooms are still available, so make sure to check out’s Rio de Janeiro Hotel Promotions to find rates from US$49 per night.

Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras

Get your “gadar” on, as the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras is considered by many the top event of its kind in the world. Pop diva Kylie Minogue, the unofficial queen of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, is returning to the event for the first time in years. Read all about it in’s “Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras: Sydney Style” event article. For hotel deals throughout the three-week festival, look over Sydney Hotel Promotions with rates starting from only US$24 per night.

Goa Carnival

The Goa Carnival draws on its colonial Portuguese roots but has morphed into a very local and unique festival. To learn all about it, read’s “Goa Carnival Brings Partying to the Streets” event article and then discover Goa Hotel Promotions for last-minute rates starting from as little as US$11 per night.