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.
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 HotelTravel.com’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 HotelTravel.com’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 HotelTravel.com’s “Rio Carnival: Pure, Unadulterated Hedonism” event article. Rooms are still available, so make sure to check out HotelTravel.com’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 HotelTravel.com’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.
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 HotelTravel.com’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.