Today marks the beginning of Carnival celebrations across the world. And the countdown of one week until Fat Tuesday has begun! The week long celebrations are usually opened with the Rei Momo (or Carnival King) with the ceremonial key to the city.
For details and a brief history of major Carnival celebrations, see MSN's World Party: Carnival Around the Globe slide show.
The roots and history of carnival celebrations date back as early as the 1200's and span the entire globe. Each country has slightly different traditions and style, but parades, costumes, masks and a good time can be found everywhere you can imagine.
Carnevale in Venice, Italy:
Venice is well-known for its decorative masks, usually made from papier-mâché or leather; their use in Carnival dates to the 13th century.
Carnival in Rio de Janiero, Brazil:
The samba is the lifeblood of Carnival here, and the creativity of the Brazilian people is expressed in dance, music and costume.
Fasching in Cologne, Germany:
More than a million spectators crowd the streets each year for Cologne’s huge street festival. The official Carnival season begins at 11:11 a.m. on Nov. 11, and continues until Ash Wednesday, though most of the celebrating takes place in the final week.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana USA:
The Carnival celebration in New Orleans is one of the world’s most famous. For two weeks the city is abuzz with parades, masquerade balls, feasts and music.
Here is a special story I found: A Survival Guide to Carnival in Rio.
It's not too late to get in on the Carnival and Mardi Gras dress up action! www.MardiGrasCostumes.com offers same day shipping on most orders received by 3pm EST and rush delivery is available with shipping options as fast as next business day for orders placed by 3pm EST. See the website for Mardi Gras shipping deadlines or contact customer service: 1-877-413-8747.