Rio: Time to Party

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Although Carnival and Mardi Gras are synonymous with Rio de Janerio in Brazil and New Orleans in the United States, the festival has its roots elsewhere. French for "Fat Tuesday," Mardi Gras is a major tourist attraction in any city where it is celebrated.

Olivier Dombey, chief information officer of hotel booking website HotelTravel. com said: " This is traditionally a wild event known for its flamboyant costumes, festive balls, loud music and all–night partying. But it actually draws its cultural origins to rituals and traditions that date back thousands of years. " HotelTravel. com has highlighted five of the most popular and unique celebrations in the world in individual travel events articles. Each one is packed with important information about both the city and event for travelers planning to attend these festivals, " he added. For travellers suffering from a case of Carnival and Mardi Gras fever, here is a brief overview of HotelTravel. com's top five festivals on the planet:New Orleans Mardi GrasFor anyone in North America, New Orleans Mardi Gras is the big daddy of all carnival events. This celebration dates back to the 1730s soon after the city was first established. It has its own unique traditions of " Krewes, " " Big Chiefs" and of course the throwing of beads. Trinidad & Tobago CarnivalThe Trinidad & Tobago Carnival is one of the most popular events of its kind in the Caribbean. It is famous for " Soca, " a drum and percussion based Caribbean Calypso that gets participants and visitors grooving to the carnival beat. This festival truly has eclectic influences. Rio de Janeiro CarnivalRio de Janeiro Carnival is Mardi Gras " Mecca" in a country where almost every city or town organises its own festival. There are way too many events in Rio to list here. Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi GrasGet your " gadar" on as the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras is considered by many the top event of its kind in the world. Pop diva Kylie Minogue, the unofficial queen of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, is returning to the event for the first time in years. Goa CarnivalThe Goa Carnival draws on its colonial Portuguese roots but has morphed into a very local and unique festival.

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