While everyone is familiar with New Orleans' famous Mardi Gras parades and wild celebrations, there are several other Mardi Gras celebrations around the world. In fact, the New Orleans festivities have strong roots in French celebrations before the arrival of Lent. Called "Carnaval" in France, there are Mardi Gras events here that predate New Orleans' festivities by centuries.
New Orleans in Recovery
As New Orleans rebuilds in the wake of Hurricane Katrina's destruction, some revelers may be looking for alternative celebrations. The About New Orleans site, however, makes a strong argument that New Orleans needs Mardi Gras, despite the city's state of reconstruction.
Mardi Gras on the Riviera
In France, there are several Carnaval celebrations that attract the hoardes to celebrate. The most popular is easily the festive Nice Carnaval, which is a wild 10-day celebration featuring daily parades, concerts, street theater and more. It dates back to the Middle Ages. Find out more about last year's Nice Carnaval festivities.
Medieval Mardi Gras
Another Mardi Gras in France with roots dating back to the Middle Ages is the Limoux Carnaval. Lasting several weeks each year, the carnaval celebration is best known for its unique masks. This is also the home to France's true original sparkling wine, which predates Champagne.