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Carnival Celebrations Around the World

Who doesn’t love a street party?

Today is Fat Tuesday–the last day before the holiday of Lent begins and probably the day of the year that sees the most street parties. From Mardi Gras in New Orleans, to Carnival in Brazil, the weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday are a time of happy celebration for people in  many countries around the world. For some, it’s the last chance to shake loose before the fasting, contemplation and penitence of Lent. For others, it’s the first opportunity to celebrate the end of winter.

So, in honor of Mardi Gras, go get a beaded necklace, visualize a flower-covered street parade float and take a look at some photos of the beautiful and elaborate Carnival celebrations around the world:

In the province of Galicia in Spain, locals refer to Carnival celebrations as “entroido,” or, the entrance. Masked promenades, torches and lots of feasting take place in the weeks leading up to Lent.

The Brasileno festival of Carnival is known around the world for its exuberant street dancing, awesome costumes and general all-around fun. Visiting a large Brazilian city during Carnival (perhaps even Copacabana Beach in Rio!) is one of my bucket list items, for sure.

Throughout the Caribbean, Carnival celebrations provide fun for locals and tourists alike. Many of the island territories and nations offer street processions, dance competitions, musical performances and religious fervor, but Trinidad and Tobago’s celebration is one of the most famous.

If you’re in Europe during Carnival, Portugal is a fine place to see the festival. Though the tradition is oldest here in Europe, Portugal has borrowed some New World touches from its former colony, Brazil. Visit Portugal at Carnival to see flower-covered floats and rich, colorful costumes. Each region has its own traditions, too.

Countries that are mostly thought of as Protestant don’t often celebrate Carnival widely, but Germany has several versions of the festival. Cologne is where you’ll find the most festivities, with flower-covered floats and glamorous balls, but Dusseldorf also holds a big celebration the week before Lent.

And of course, we can’t forget New Orleans’ fabulous Mardi Gras. Though Carnival itself isn’t widely celebrated in the United States, everyone knows about fabulous Mardi Gras.

Have you been to Carnival? Would you like to share your experiences on this website? Contact Beth to see about writing a guest blog.

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Hi! I’m Beth. Thanks for visiting Everyday Travel Stories, a site that celebrates all of the glorious travel opportunities on our planet.

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