You may have heard it referred to as “Fat Tuesday”, “Carnival” “Shrove Tuesday” and even the greatest show on the earth, but they all lead up to the same thing which is the first day of Lent. Some have suggested that the Catholics created this event in an attempt to give them a little freedom to get it out of their system before the fasting begins in Lent, or Ash Wednesday. If you ever wanted to know when the Mardi Gras celebrations began, just find a calendar and look for “Ash Wednesday” and in a few instances the entire party would begin on the Sunday (Saturday night) and end at midnight on Fat Tuesday. There are many Mardi Gras locations around the world and today we shall take a look at 5 of them, keeping in mind that the goal is to have a good time, however, the way they get to that goal may differ somewhat. One of the reasons for the difference could be the cultural influence in that part of the world, but one thing you will be sure to notice is that participants never seem to get enough. Alcohol, costumes, parties and an altogether atmosphere of music filled mayhem will appear to rule the days and nights.  

mardi gras 2014Credit: Mardi Gras 2013 Celebration

Universal Studios Orlando - Combined Effort.

Universal Studios in Orlando is probably not one of the places that you would consider as an ideal location for a Mardi Gras celebration, but for the non-Catholics who don't celebrate Lent, it can fit right into their plans. Unlike many other Mardi Gras locations, Universal Studios functions on a different playing field and yet still they can provide the reveler with an Mardi Gras 2014 UniversalCredit: Ken Muiseopportunity to let it all hang out. One of the great things about choosing Universal Studios to celebrate the annual festivities is that it is a lot more oriented to families, as a whole, which simply means that the clothes will probably not be as skimpy and the behavior will be more pg than R rated. Anyone who has experience in other more traditional Mardi Gras celebrations will understand the difference. Drinking is allowed, but patrons who have a hard time handling their alcohol will be quickly ejected from the park as the powers that be make the environment safe for the visiting children. Many of the same food and drinks that visitors to New Orleans have been accustomed to will be there and visiting patrons can expect some of the same floats and maybe some new ones to grace the carefully planned parade route. 

Check out the Mardi Gras Party in Orlando!

Rio De Janeiro - The Greatest Show On Earth.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you are looking for one of the best Mardi Gras party spots to lose your inhibitions then Rio de Janeiro is the place to be, in fact, this is one of those towns where the only rule is that there are no rules. With a country that is already known for its beauty, both in the surroundings and women, not to mention the ability to be somewhat creative as far as costumes go, you know that this will be a fun time for all. Unless you plan on leaving them in the hotel under strict supervision as you head to the streets where the parties are as popular as they come, you may wish to consider leaving them at home. Rio may be great for beaches and fun in the sun, but the distractions can lead many people astray. With decades of experience in Mardi Gras celebrations, many of the same onlookers keep coming back every year for more, as they pass the word to friends and family. The Mardi Gras celebrations continue to evolve and as most will tell you, the pulsating music compliments the skimpy costumes right down to the last stitch, which are few and far between. 

This Rio Video is Raw but True

Venice-Party and romance in the same place.

If you are looking for something different and the skimpy costumes are not for you then take the most important person in your life and head to Italy, where the streets of Venice come alive about two weeks prior to the Catholic holiday known as Ash Wednesday. Even though Venice is well known around the world as one of the premier Mardi Gras party spots, there are still some people who have yet to go there. In order to enjoy the celebrations in Venice, it will be in your best interest to get yourself a costume, in fact, these same costumes are required to get you into many of the parties being held around town. Don't expect light and skimpy clothing, in fact, the costumes might be considered by some as a huge production. Don't be surprised to see everyone wearing a mask either and even the masks are considered as a big deal in Venice. It is the parties that will get you going and for those who have not yet been, expect delicious food, costumed guests and more alcohol than you can handle. The events will require a cover charge, but you will be treated like royalty in a costume. 


Trinidad-Colorful splendors

After trying the other Mardi Gras venues, drop everything and head to Trinidad, where the alcohol flows like water, the calypso is as raunchy as it gets and if you manage to get in to one of the hundreds of parties being held on the island, you will be swept away by the free spirit that Trinidadians and visitors tend to show each other during the carnival season. The revelers in Trinidad may not be there yet, but they are probably running second as far as skimpy costumes are concerned. Visitors who stop by the island during the Christmas holidays usually choose to stay on through until the Carnival has come and gone. You will be advised in no uncertain terms that Trinidad is the place to have the most fun during Mardi Gras season and sleep is optional. Revelers in the streets of the city (Port of Spain) usually find themselves moving behind large trucks, some provide live bands, others can be heard pumping out music by a Disc Jockey and there is usually a third one that provides a well stocked bar for those who pay the cover ahead of time. Trinidadians take this time of the year very seriously, so if you plan on making it to Port of Spain, make sure to book well in advance. 

Trinidad & Tobago Mardi Gras

New Orleans-Don't be confused.

Many people hear the word Mardi Gras and immediately turn their attention to the streets of New Orleans, when in fact, there are other options to celebrate the days leading up to lent. In order to really appreciate New Orleans as the place to have the most fun during Mardi Gras, the reveler should try to meet someone who lives there, or at the very least they should find out something about the way the celebration unfolds. 

●The first thing you need to know about Mardi Gras in New Orleans is that they are very strict about shutting everything down at midnight, no exceptions! 
●Unless you want to take part in the indecency, the exchanging of beads for the flashing of a woman's breast is not required, beads are freely given out from floats along the parade route. 
●If you have children with you, don't take them to Bourbon street, the activities that take place there are 'R' rated and children should not be exposed to them. 
●Although the parties are an asset to visitors to help them get in the mood, the biggest part of the celebrations will be the floats, don't miss them.

New Orleans Mardi Gras- Best in the World