Photo by tinkerg
For the next week, in most of the Catholic-influenced world, millions are enjoying the last few days of fleshly delights before the forty-day pre-Easter fasting and sacrifices of Lent. These celebrations, aptly named Carnival (or "farewell to the flesh," either because of the religious ban on meat during Lent, or because it's the time to indulge in uncharacteristic behavior), have melded cultures and traditions the world over into Earth's biggest, raunchiest, off-the-hookest simultaneous party. Everyone knows about the thonged-and-feathered lovelies of Rio, the chiaroscuro masques of Venice, and the beads and breasts of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Starting tomorrow, I'm going to introduce you to three other events - just as bold, loud, and unchaste as their better-known cousins. And then, I'll help you plan your trip for next year.