In just a few days, major cities around the world will be celebrating the month-long festival known as Carnival. If you're able to escape the misery that is the East Coast winter, here are a few places where you can take in some culture, say farewell to meat for Lent, and party your ass off.
Rio probably has the most well known Carnival celebration and for good reason. The wild and colorful street party is the world’s largest celebration, attracting millions to partake in vibrant, flamboyant, samba-shaking fun.
Right before Fat Tuesday (otherwise known as Mardi Gras) the streets of NOLA are filled with purple, green, and gold parades. Amid all the traditional local revelry, expect bead-hungry college kids galore (obvi). If you're looking for a less crazy time but still want to experience all the traditional revelry, you can pretty much go anytime of the year and have an amazing time. Here's proof.
Trinidad has the Caribbean’s biggest Carnival. You'll see tons of of custom-made bikini costumes, hear the sounds of steel drums, and taste delicious local street food all while dancing with a bunch of fabulous strangers.
Venice's celebration is a little more sophisticated and exclusive than its Western Hemisphere counterparts. It's less frat party and more exclusive gala. Just a heads up -- you’re expected to arrive in an over-the-top original costume or mask, so get started now!
If you want to celebrate in Italy but want a little less pomp and circumstance, head to Tuscany! Viareggio has one of the largest Carnival celebrations in all of Italy. It lasts for multiple weekends, so it’s easy to find a date to visit. Their lively parades are known for their huge paper mâché caricatures of politicians, animals, and other figures.
What are you waiting for? It's time to don your finest feather bikini and elaborate mask and get your dance on!