A time to party
Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Carnival, Carnaval ... The festivities preceding the Catholic season of Lent are known by different names in different parts of the world. The most spectacular fest is in Rio de Janeiro, where 587 different street parties, blocos, lead up to a massive samba parade through a purpose-built stadium. Locals celebrate Carnaval alongside more than a million tourists who come to the Brazilian city specifically for the event. The New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration, meanwhile, draws an average of 1.4 million revelers with its floats, street parties and raucous atmosphere.
What about the rest of the world? Plenty of other places host noteworthy pre-Lent parties with descriptions that range from extravagant to weird to enjoyably casual. The best of these events have a local flavor and elements that make them different from carnivals in other parts of the world.
Here's a sampling of these other colorful and fabulous celebrations.