Let Loose with Mardi Gras!
It's worth travelling for the biggest carnival in the world!
The Mardi Gras is a captivating and sensory feast of colour and noise wherever in the world you experience it. Originating from a Christian festival marking the last meal before the fasting of Lent, Mardi Gras (or 'fat Tuesday' as it is in French, or Shrove Tuesday in the UK) has always been a time of huge feasts and parties. Although the religious connotations have disappeared, the celebrations of Mardi Gras, of feasting and exuberance, grow by the year across America, South America and much of Europe.
Today, Mardi Gras parties around Europe and South America vary hugely. The most famous, including the Rio de Janeiro, Venice, Sydney and New Orleans Mardi Gras festivals, are marked with elaborate masked balls, engrossing carnivals and vast street parades where the elaborate costumes are as loud as the music. By contrast, more traditional Mardi Gras parties can be found in parts of Europe including Spain, France and Italy, where effigies of over-indulgence are burned in a far more poignant marking of Mardi Gras' meaning.
Mardi Gras Holiday Destinations
Top five Mardi Gras holidays
Mardi Gras in Rio de Janeiro40 days before Easter, Rio's already vibrant streets burst into life. There are huge parades in every district of the city, with fantastically bright costumes, samba dancing and revelling long into the night.
Mardi Gras in VeniceThe Mardi Gras celebrations of Venice, known as the Venice Carnival, is home to the real Mardi Gras masks. The mask-makers are especially highly regarded, and the two-week celebration is famous throughout the world.
Mardi Gras in New OrleansThe New Orleans Mardi Gras is one of the largest Mardi Gras events in the world, attracting thousands of visitors from around the globe. The parade is the largest Mardi Gras parade, with an enormous number of floats on show.
Mardi Gras in BelgiumThe town of Binche in Wallonia, Belgium is home to the UNESCO accredited Carnival of Binche, a vast Mardi Gras celebration where over 1,000 dancers fill the streets from 4 am until late the next evening.
Mardi Gras in NiceThe Nice Mardi Gras is one of the most spectacular events in France. The flower strewn parades and night light shows are a picture, and the great range of street theatre, concerts and parades will entertain you during the 10 day event.
The best known style of modern Mardi Gras are with parties that rage long into the night in cities from New Orleans to Venice the amazing colours of Mardi Gras masks and costumes worn by revellers are based on the three Mardi Gras colours, chosen in 1872; purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power. If you are looking for the truly authentic Mardi Gras costume or Mardi Gras mask, there are two places you must visit; Venice, where Mardi Gras mask makers enjoy a special place in society, and Rio de Janeiro, where the costumes mesmerise.
The date of Mardi Gras falls on the 12th February 2013, with celebrations taking place all around the actual day. So, whether you are looking to marvel at the carnival and party into the small hours or enjoy a traditional reflection before Lent, you can find the perfect accommodation with ease on HomeAway Holiday-Rentals, and by speaking directly with the owner, you will be sure to have all you need for an unforgettable Mardi Gras holiday.