Mardi Gras Carnival Holiday Ideas

Carnival! It’s the season to enjoy some of the most extravagant street parades on the planet, as the Mardi Gras specialists party big time in the run-up to Lent. Rio is the obvious choice, but here are three more carnival ideas from the travel insurance experts at Direct Travel Insurance.

Mardi Gras is a fantastic experience ablaze with sound and colour, but it also makes sense to remember holiday insurance before heading into the crowds and dancing the night away. Cheap travel insurance* can provide high-quality cover for personal belongings and medical emergencies, as well as delays and cancellations.

Rio Carnival, Brazil

When is it? Saturday 9 February to Tuesday 12 February 2013

What makes it special? There are a dozen fiercely competitive samba groups who try to outdo each other for the prize for best performance every year. With 3,000 members in each and outlandish costumes, this is a huge undertaking and communities spend a year preparing.


Venice Carnival, Italy

When is it? Saturday 26 January to Tuesday 12 February 2013

What makes it special: The distinctive, highly decorated masks that are the most striking part of many disguises. There is a contest for the best, judged by a panel of international fashion and costume designers. Three million visitors come to Venice every year for the carnival, and the theme for 2013 is Colour.

Here’s a hint of the organisers’ thinking: ‘Red may be red, but also purple, reddish, coppery, red-faced, strawberry, crimson, carmine, sanguine, cinnabar, Pompeian, scarlet, inflamed, ruddy.’ Travel insurance will cover souvenir masks and other mementoes bought while away.

SantoƱa Carnival, near Santander, Spain

When is it?: Thursday 7 February to Sunday 24 February 2013

What makes it special: One of the highlights is a quirky the Burial of the Sea Bream, and the event includes a show called The Trial in the Depths of the Sea, because celebrating the sea as important as honouring Bacchus, the God of wine. Rooted in pagan traditions, this carnival also boasts a vivid display of colourful floats and energetic musical processions.

Mardi Gras, New Orleans, USA

When is it? Saturday 19 January to Tuesday 12 February 2013, with a pause for the Super Bowl between 28 January and 5 February

What makes it special? The energy and effervescence of the krewes, the city’s private carnival clubs. They throw toys, beads and doubloons to the dancing partygoers lining the streets as their beautiful floats pass by. Learn to shout: Throw Me Something Mister!’ The colour scheme is always gold, green and purple, symbolising faith, power and justice.

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