Carnival 2023: Mardi Gras around the world
February 09, 2023
For those who love a good time, no celebration compares to Carnival. And since this annual blow-out is integrated into so many cultural traditions around the world, you could check multiple travel goals off your bucket list simply by exploring different Mardi Gras events every year. Whether it’s Carnival 2023 in Brazil or someplace closer to home, here are a few points on the map that have particularly distinctive festivals.
History of Carnival
In the Christian tradition, Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday”) marks the last chance for people to indulge themselves before the beginning of pre-Easter Lent weeks, when many practice reflection and sacrifice, giving up favorite foods or fasting. Some cultures make the most of Fat Tuesday on the day itself, while others stretch the decadence and celebration for days and weeks before. In those cases, Fat Tuesday becomes a celebration that extends to many beyond the Christian religion, in the form of the ultimate all-out party: Carnival.
Top places to celebrate Carnival
From city to city and country to country, the Carnival festival is celebrated in different ways. While the celebration has its roots in pagan festivals welcoming spring, the evolution into a pre-Easter bacchanal also means you’ll discover local flavor in each celebration of Carnival around the world.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Brazilians throw a Mardi Gras that tops all others, with Rio de Janeiro attracting millions of people every year to join in the spectacle. Spectacular floats, samba dancers, drummers and many more performers put on enormous parades and other over-the-top events.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The most well-known Carnival celebration in the United States draws tourists from around the world for its parades, balls, live music, and rowdy parties. Costumed social groups called Krewes work all year to plan the events, and the entire city joins in the fun.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Flamboyant and extravagant, the Mardi Gras celebrations on the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands draw from a variety of traditions. The completely unique experience includes street parties as well as official celebrations, the election of a Queen, and a piñata weekend.
In addition to its canals, Venice is known for its artisan-crafted masks, which have their roots in the local history of Mardi Gras. Parties during the first Carnival celebrations blended upper and lower classes, with attendees wearing ornamental masks to blur the lines between the two groups. Today, famed fashion designers participate in designing masks for the annual masquerade parties, while floating parades take place throughout the city.
What started as a winter solstice celebration to drive out evil demons and pay homage to the gods is now a joyous tradition, with approximately 160 different carnival societies hosting events, electing a Carnival Hero, and throwing hundreds of balls and parades.
Travel wisely with SafeTrip
Wherever you choose to celebrate Mardi Gras this year, the theme will undoubtedly be one of unbridled fun. However, if you’re traveling to experience Carnival, it’s important to explore different types of insurance coverage to protect your trip—and your health.
Should you experience challenges such as flight cancellations or hotel snafus, U.S. domestic travel insurance such as UnitedHealthcare Global’s SafeTrip Travel Protection Plan will help manage any complications, and you can even add on rental car damage* as extra protection.
Considering international travel? Depending on your destination, medical coverage that travels with you may be a wise choice, as you can find a plan that covers health care needs as well as access to 24/7 support and other just-in-case coverage. Check out SafeTrip International Travel Medical plans,or choose insurance with trip cancellation/interruption coverage with the International Travel Medical Plus plan.
Whichever plan you choose, you’ll be prepared and can travel confidently knowing you can be connected to support.
*Policy availability varies.
This website contains highlights of the plans, which include travel insurance coverages underwritten by Centurion Casualty Company or H&W Indemnity SPC Ltd. for and on behalf of Global Solutions SP. The plans also contain non-insurance Travel Assistance Services provided by United Healthcare Services Inc., or its applicable affiliate operating as United Healthcare Global. Claims Administration is provided by Co Ordinated Benefit Plans, Inc.. Coverages may vary under applicable law and not all coverage is available in all jurisdictions. Insurance coverages are subject to the terms, limitations and exclusions in the plan, including an exclusion for pre-existing conditions. UnitedHealthcare Global does not guarantee clinical outcomes. UnitedHealthcare Global does is not responsible for the content of third-party websites and links to such websites do not imply recommendation, approval or endorsement of that website.