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It’s Carnival time February 5, 2008

Posted by Daniel Martin in General.
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Parati, Brazil. A man sporting a gaping shark jaw ”hat” takes part in the Bloco da Lama samba group mud parade on Jabaquara beach in Rio de Janeiro.  The mud-covered revelers were among millions who donned colorful costumes or hit the streets to party during the city’s annual five-day Carnival bash.  The Portuguese brought the concept of Carnival to Rio around 1850. Over the years European traditions have melded with African and native Brazilian cultures, producing the unique costumes and parties seen today.


Barranquilla, Colombia. Painted revelers celebrate the Carnaval de Barranquilla, which some say is the second largest Carnival after Rio de Janeiro’s. Each year during the four days before Ash Wednesday, on the cusp of Christian Lent, the city in northern Colombia hums with dances, floats, and theatrical performances.  In 2003 the UN named the Barranquilla Carnival, which has its roots in 19th-century tradition, a ”Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”.


New Orleans, Louisiana. A giant mask glowing with fiber-optic lights rolls in the Krewe of Endymion’s parade in New Orleans during Carnival.  This “krewe”—a team that organizes a parade—stages one of the largest of New Orleans’ 80 Carnival parades. The group takes its name from Endymion, the handsome Greek god of youth and fertility.  This year’s Endymion parade, with actor Kevin Costner as grand marshal, rolled along its traditional Mid-City route for the first time since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Mardi Gras—French for Fat Tuesday—caps the city’s Carnival festivals. The revels begin on January 6, the Twelfth Night of Christmas, and continue until Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Christian season of Lent.

Venice, Italy. A masked man walks through St. Mark’s Square during Carnival.  In Venice, Carnival dates back to at least A.D.1268, when masqueraders were banned from playing a game called eggs. The government document still exists today, according to the city’s official Carnival Web site. Over the years, the island city has tried to enforce various restrictions on the annual celebration. A 1339 law banned nighttime wandering by masked revelers. And a 1603 law calling for the restoration of morality in convents banned masqueraders from entering nuns’ parlors, the site says.  The Venice Carnival’s theme this year is “Sensation—Six Senses for Six Neighborhoods.”

Lucerne, Switzerland. Members of a typical Guggemusik band—a loose and loud group of brass musicians—march through an old district of Lucerne on the opening day of the city’s Carnival. Modern Swiss Carnival traditions date back no further than the 19th century, according to swissworld.org, a government Web site.  The origins of the Swiss tradition are disputed. Some claim the festivities stem from pagan celebrations, others say Swiss Carnival finds its origins in old Christian rites, and some people believe the celebration derives from simple, secular folk customs, according to the site. Swissworld adds that cold weather—not personality—force the Swiss to dress more conservatively than revelers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

(Extracts from http://www.nationalgeographic.com)



1. mburgos - February 5, 2008

This is an amazing time, and I believe this is the funniest party of the year….most people are wearing pretty costumes and the most important thing is that we do everything without shame… Unfortunatley for me I won’t be able to go to Rio but anyway yesterday I went to La Bañeza, today I’m going to go to Leon and next Saturday I’ll be going out in Astorga… Well the following week I don’t know where I’ll be…. possibly at the hospital….. I encourage everybody to wear a costume and enjoy the Carnival….

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