Published: 06 January 2015
Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday in English is a wonderful celebration held every year on Shrove Tuesdays (the day before Ash Wednesday) usually between February and March A festival full of colours, masquerades, parades and exciting music on the streets, it’s a great one to get involved in! While some countries celebrate for a week, others go on for a whole month.
The Flexicover Team look at some great destinations where this festival is a lot of fun!
Louisiana, United States
Visitors from far and wide flood to Louisiana and in particular New Orleans, its largest city for Mardi Gras each year. A wonderful experience dating back to 1857 when the first parade took place, streets are filled with floats, parades, and individuals dressed in different costumes or covered in the infamous string of Mardi Gras beads! The atmosphere is electric and celebrations start two weeks before the actual day. Endymion (Saturday), Bacchus (Sunday), Orpheus (Monday), Zulu (Tuesday morning) and Rex (Tuesday night) are the most famous day for parades. Join in the fun if headed stateside this year but be sure to book as soon as possible – this will be one memorable trip.
The carnival Binche, the most famous carnival in Belgium takes place annually every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and attracts thousands each year. The country comes alive and locals and visitors alike look forward to the celebrations and parades that fill the streets! Decked in fanciful costumes, wax masks and plumed hats, parade performers dance through the city streets well into the night. If you are lucky enough to visit during this time, be sure to catch the famous carnival parade known as the Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, a must see event. Look out for the performers who disguise themselves red costumes, masks and wooden clogs!
Mardi Gras celebrations in Sydney are huge and attract hundreds of thousands of people from all around Australia and overseas. Not only do they symbolise the celebratory factor but they are also synonymous with the gay pride. Parties take place around the city for most of the month and the streets are filled with vibrant parades and performances. The beaches are filled with more celebrations with exciting line ups of events including drag races, fairs and cruises. These are electric free celebrations and well worth a visit if you are headed to Australia during this time!
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The carnival of Brazil is often referred to as the ‘mother of all celebrations.’ Held before Lent each year and considered the biggest carnival in the world, the festival attracts over 5 million people from all around the world. Parades don’t get much grander than these. They include samba schools, large groups of dancers and performers, spectacular floats and musicians. Dance the night away to a samba, dress up for a night you’ll never forget and join in the fun; this really would be a trip of a lifetime.
Experiencing the true beauty of the Mardi Gras celebration is an invigorating and exhilarating experience. Not only will it be filled with an iridescence of colour but you are guaranteed an electrifying atmosphere wherever you are lucky enough to travel to.
And remember to take your Flexicover Travel insurance with you to ensure you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away!