Of all the holidays which are left over from the days of Papal world domination, Carnival is my favorite. Also known as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, Carnival was traditionally celebrated in order to squeeze in one last bacchanal before the long days of Lent began.
These days Carnival is celebrated by people of all denominations who are joined together simply by the desire to have a good time. Venice, Haiti and New Orleans are just a few places where you can experience Carnival at its best. But this year the place I'd most like to be is Brazil.
Because one day of partying isn't enough, Rio Carnival 2011 will stretch from Saturday, March 5 to (Fat) Tuesday, March 8. The highlights of Brazilian carnival are parades with elaborate costumes and even more elaborate floats, all heralded by live music and dancing. Because revelers are so busy having fun, they'll often eat from street vendors throughout the day rather than sit down to one long meal. If, like me, you can't make it to Rio this year, you can still recreate the food and fun with this Carnival Cocktail Party.