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8 Best Mardi Gras 2024 Parades Around the World

Last Updated: January 22, 2024

Last Updated: January 22, 2024

Mardi Gras celebrations unquestionably steal the show every year! The streets transform into a canvas of lively hues and extravagant attire; the music pulsates with electric energy reverberating through the air, yet the infectious high spirits truly take the spotlight! While we all relish such heartwarming celebrations, there’s a story behind Mardi Gras. The forty days before the Lent period are when Mardi Gras is celebrated in carnivals. These forty days in the calendar are sparkling in various parts of the world.🎊 Mardi Gras is literally translated to “Fat Tuesday” (popularly known as Shrove Tuesday) and is celebrated largely in countries where French and Creole are the official languages! 

The fete, carnivals, parades, activities, and so much more on Mardi Gras will make you feel like you are on top of the world. These utterly extravagant carnivals guarantee exemplary music, dance performances, themes, treats, and a lot of fun. Find out where in the world Mardi Gras is celebrated with a grandeur that will leave you in shock and joy! Here is a refined list of the best Mardi Gras parades so you don’t miss out on the best time of the year! 

1) Rio de Janeiro Carnival

When someone mentions “Carnival,” Rio de Janeiro – the self-proclaimed “Carnival Capital of the World“- instantly pops into your head! The Sambadrome Rio Carnival Parade even scored a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the grandest Mardi Gras bash! Picture five days leading up to Shrove Tuesday, filled with contagious music, over-the-top parades, and carefree dancing that just happens naturally!💃 Props for these electric parades go to the Samba Schools – and let me break it down for you. “Samba” in Portuguese covers both a dance style and the way Rio’s Carnival groups organize themselves.

Now, the performances from top Samba Schools and their bedazzled costumes are heart-stopping! This Brazilian Mardi Gras edition floods two million people onto the streets of the Marvelous City! If you want to soak in the ultimate Carnival vibes, there’s truly no better place than the charming old Rio!

🗓️February 9 to 17, 2024

📱Instagram 

🥁Parade Schedule

2) Mardi Gras New Orleans

God graced you with a blessing if you somehow ended up in New Orleans during the most anticipated spectacle of Mardi Gras in February! The Krewe of Zulu Mardi Gras Parade is the world’s biggest and most famous one in New Orleans. Those two weeks before Shrove Tuesday are like a party explosion with parades and huge celebrations. The really fancy ones usually go down in the last five days of the carnival. It’s like the whole place just comes alive! Social clubs in the city known as krewes perform in the parades and make it extra fun for attendees! 

Amidst the crowd, they shower tiny treasures like tasty bites, necklaces, unique doubloons, and the elusive Zulu coconuts! The excitement builds up two weeks before Fat Tuesday as vibrant floats and locals don green, purple, and gold hues. Since 1837, this parade has been a proud symbol of Louisiana’s spirit, captivating over 1.5 million spectators yearly. Its festive processions have become a global inspiration for embracing Mardi Gras and the season of lend.

🗓️January 6 to February 13, 2024

📱Instagram 

🥁Parade Schedule

3) Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Carnival in Sydney, Australia 

The LGBTQAI community unites to celebrate the beauty, strength, and power of love; Australia honorably welcomes the Lend with a grand fiesta! Take in the sight of over 10,000 local and international attendees at a kaleidoscopic celebration taking over Sydney’s streets. Are you excited to support the community and celebrate the Annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras carnival at the same time?🏳️‍🌈 A thrilling staging of the West End hit musical & Juliet, sporting events, and a chance to bring your furry friend—or just admire them—to the doggy pageant are all on the schedule. Lastly, the post-parade all-nighter event headlines by..let’s keep that a surprise! 

In the beginning, the parade started in 1978 on a night of political protest to show strength and solidarity! Soon, police arrests at the parade used to create chaos, but as the political support shifted, dynamics changed! The Emerald City’s heart and soul have been celebrating it ever since! 

🗓️ February 16 to March 3, 2024 

📱Instagram 

🥁Parade Schedule

4) Flower Parade in Nice, France 

Nice in France does not just arrange “nice” but an absolutely delightful and one of the largest Mardi Gras Parades in the world. The one that makes the streets a blanket of flowers, The Flower Parade, is the highlight of all days! It reportedly takes 72 hours just to pick the 3,000 flowers that adorn the floats.💐 It welcomes Lent with literal streets of flowers, with over 100,000 showered on the crowds by two costumed performers! Parades occur each year with a specific theme; this year’s is “King of Pop Culture.” 

The Bataille de Fleurs, a French phrase that means ‘Battle of the Flowers,” was introduced in 1876 as a part of the 15-day-long Nice Festival, a tradition since 1294! In this stunning city on the French Riviera, the streets come alive with extravagant, blooming parade floats that downright steal the show. Be among over a million enthusiastic spectators and 1000 entertainers turning this march into a fiesta! 

🗓️February 17 to March 3, 2024

📱Instagram

🥁Parade Schedule

5) Venice Carnival, Italy

Masks are the main character of the Annual Venice Carnival of Mardi Graz, celebrated since 1979! Every activity in the carnival revolves around the authentic Venetian masks, which give people the vibe of mysterious fun! The most intricate and artistic mask wins the contest judged by international fashion designers, so you choose your temporary faces wisely! You will also need tickets to get into the exclusive masquerade balls of the carnival. However, if you wish to have a lowkey appearance, there are ample of activities at St. Mark’s Square and boat parades along the Grand Canyon free of cost! 

Want a tip before you go? Don’t miss adhering to the dress code and intricate details to stand out as a performer. However, if you are a spectator, keep your company closer as there are chances you will lose grip among three million people, with everyone wearing masks! 

🗓️ February 3 to 13, 2024 

📱Instagram 

🥁Parade Schedule

6) Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, Spain

The title of the King of Carnival in the Caribbean is honored to Trinidad and Tobago! It is said that when Trinidad is not celebrating carnival, it is planning for one. Obviously, the costumes are extravagant and elaborate, but the most important element of this carnival is, yes, you guessed it, the Music! Let’s go back in time a bit to when French colonizers forbade the Africans to participate in Mardi Gras in 1838; Africans didn’t hold back! They used bamboo sticks and steel pans to make music, from which the evergreen Calypso and Soca emerged, and the music still played in the carnival.🥁 And truly, you cannot hold back from dancing when you hear it at Jab Jab Jouvert

To give you a sneak peek into the carnival, you will get to see stick-fighting, limbo, Soca Competitions, steel pan competitions, and masquerade bands! The coolest part is that you can join the mas by simply signing up and dressing like the extravagant band themselves! 

🗓️February 07 to February 14, 2024

📱Instagram 

7) Québec Winter Carnival, Canada

Just imagine, instead of such heart-throbbing costumes and elaborate thoughts behind them, here you see everyone wearing at least 5-10 layers of coat in freezing cold!🥶 Yes, it is the Quebec Winter Festival, and no, it is not something you can ever miss! Make your checklist, as there is a lot to experience in the carnival. Begin with Bonhomme’s Ice Palace, Ice Canoe Race (a rather competitive one), several ice and snow sculptures, snow baths to have the ultimate fight, beautiful musical events, and more! Do you want to know the best part? No other parade occurs at night except for the one in Quebec. It is not recommended to miss that (at all)! 

Since 1955, the tradition has been intact, inspired by French Celebrations of Mardi Gras. A tip: don’t miss this year’s extra special fete as the carnival is celebrating its 70th Anniversary! 

🗓️January 25 to February 11, 2024

📱Instagram 

8) Mobile Mardi Gras, Alabama

The researcher in you might be wondering where these grand celebrations began. The obvious answer would be New Orleans. Meanwhile, the seeds were grounded in Mobile, Alabama. The parade is classic and iconic with its signature float, mind-blowing parade, and flying moon pies to catch, coated with chocolate and filled with marshmallows!🤩 It’s a delight to sight and stomach both! Additionally, masked mystic societies, mounted police, and marching bands together make a spectacle that attracts over a million people to be part of the celebrations! 

Celebrations begin two and a half weeks before Fat Tuesday every year, but here’s a catch! It was originally started promptly in 1703 by Joe Cain as he was fed up with war misery, so in his homage, Joe Cain Day is celebrated wholeheartedly on the Sunday before Fat Tuesday! 

We have a secret tip for you: A parade which is one of the best ones just an hour away from Mobile! Back in 1978, a group of people felt that Gulf Shores needed a parade, which is how the parade’s history began. The Annual Gulf Shores Mardi Gras Parade got its start when those residents established the Pleasure Island Players. After a year, they merged with the Mystic Order of Shiners to form the oldest parading order in Baldwin County. Make a small drive to the Gulf Shore to add more great parade experience!

🗓️January 26 to February 13, 2024

📱Instagram 

🥁Parade Schedule

In a Nutshell

As we bid adieu to this whirlwind tour of the globe’s most enchanting Mardi Gras parades, let the echoes of vibrant celebrations linger in your mind. From the masked mystique of Venice’s Carnival to Sydney’s rainbow-soaked fiesta, these parades are many-hued tales etched on the canvas of the world. Embrace the flower-strewn streets of Nice and lose yourself in the rhythm of Rio’s Sambadrome. Traverse the Caribbean vibes of Trinidad and Tobago, where music is rebellion and history dances in every note. Quebec’s winter wonderland, with its layers of frost and festivity and, oh, the birthplace of it all—Mobile, Alabama, where moon pies fly, masks mystify, and the spirit of Joe Cain whispers tales of beginnings in his Sunday homage. 

As these parades fade into our memories, may the spirit of Mardi Gras endure, reminding us that celebration, in all its hues, is a dance that surpasses borders and a rhythm that binds hearts. Until next year, let the echoes of these parades keep your spirits high, your heart light, and the magic of Mardi Gras alive in your soul.

If you wish to explore more, here is a link to all the Mardi Gras Celebrations in the USA. Find your tickets and have a terrific time! 

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Event Guide

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