Carnival traditions around the world

από | Φεβ 24, 2023

Carnival is an annual festival celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a time when people feast, drink and celebrate before Lent begins. The festival is marked by colorful parades, elaborate costumes, music, dancing and general merriment. Although the traditions and customs of Carnival vary from region to region, they all share a common theme: exuberance and joy. In this article, we present carnival traditions from around the world.

 

Brazil

Carnival in Brazil is perhaps the most famous and celebrated in the world. It takes place in the week before Lent and is characterized by parades, street parties and samba dances. The highlight of Brazilian Carnival is the parade of samba schools in Rio de Janeiro, where the schools compete for the title of champion. Each school has a theme and a story, and they showcase their elaborate costumes, floats and dance routines in a colorful and lively parade.

 

 

 

 

Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago

Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago is a vibrant and colorful event that has its roots in the country’s African and European heritage. It takes place in the two days before Ash Wednesday and is characterized by steelpan music, calypso and soca music. The main event is the parade of bands, where costumed revelers dance and sing to the music. The costumes are very elaborate and consist of feathers, sequins and glitter.

 

 

Venice

Venice Carnival is known for its elaborate masks and costumes. It has been celebrated since the 13th century and was originally a time when the wealthy indulged in lavish feasts and parties. Today, the festival is celebrated with a grand masquerade ball and a parade of boats on the city’s canals. The masks and costumes are very elaborate and are often made of silk, velvet and lace.

 

 

Carnival in New Orleans

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is known as Mardi Gras, which is French for “Fat Tuesday” It is celebrated with parades, parties and balls and is marked by the iconic throwing of beads, doubloons and trinkets from floats. The floats are decorated with elaborate designs and often feature popular culture themes or social issues. Mardi Gras is also known for its King Cake, a sweet pastry decorated with purple, green and gold sugar.

 

 

Italy

Carnival in Italy is celebrated in several cities, including Venice, Viareggio and Ivrea. In Viareggio, the festival is celebrated with the Parade of Floats, where paper mache floats depict political and social satire. In Ivrea, the festival is celebrated with the Battle of Oranges, in which participants throw oranges at each other to symbolically recreate an uprising against a tyrant.

 

 

 

 

Carnival in Germany

Carnival in Germany is known as Fasching and is celebrated in the weeks leading up to Lent. The celebration is characterized by parades, parties and masquerade balls. The highlight of the carnival season is Rose Monday, which is celebrated in cities such as Cologne, Duesseldorf and Mainz with a parade of floats and costumed revelers. The floats often depict political and social satire, and participants throw candy and flowers into the crowd.

 

 

Spain

Carnival in Spain is celebrated in several regions, including Cadiz, Tenerife and Sitges. In Cadiz, the celebration is marked by the singing of chirigotas, satirical songs that poke fun at social and political issues. In Tenerife, the festival is marked by the Carnival parade, where costumed revelers dance and sing to the sounds of Latin music. In Sitges, the festival is known for its drag queen contest and flower fight, where participants throw flowers at each other.

 

 

Carnival in Belgium

Carnival in Belgium is celebrated in several cities, including Binche and Aalst. In Binche, the festival is celebrated with the throwing of oranges and the parade of gilles, where men in traditional costumes dance and throw confetti. The gilles wear wooden shoes, straw hats and colorful costumes with bells and ribbons. In Aalst, the festival is known for its satirical floats and costumed revelers, who often dress up as caricatures of politicians or celebrities.

 

 

carnival

 

 

Colombia

Carnival in Colombia is celebrated in several regions, including Barranquilla and Pasto. In Barranquilla, the celebration kicks off with the Parade of Traditions, where costumed revelers dance to the sounds of cumbia and other traditional music. The costumes are colorful and elaborate, often made of feathers, sequins and beads. In Pasto, the festival is known for its diablada, a dance that represents the struggle between good and evil.

 

 

Carnival in Portugal

Carnival in Portugal is celebrated in several cities, including Lisbon and Torres Vedras. In Torres Vedras, the festival is characterised by the Battle of Flowers, where participants throw flowers at each other. In Lisbon, the festival is known for its parades and masquerade balls, where revellers wear masks and elaborate costumes.

 

 

Greece

Carnival in Greece is known as Apokries and is celebrated in the weeks before Lent. The festival is characterised by parades, parties and traditional food, such as the sweet carnival bread “Koulouri” In the city of Patras, the festival is known for the float parade, where floats made of papier-mâché depict political and social satire.

 

 

 

 

 

Carnival in Switzerland

In Switzerland, Carnival is celebrated in various regions, including Basel and Lucerne. In Basel, the festival is known for its elaborate costumes and masks, often made of wood or wax. The highlight of the festival is the lantern parade, in which participants carry illuminated lanterns through the streets of the city. In Lucerne, the festival is marked by the Fools’ Parade, where costumed revellers throw confetti and sweets into the crowd.

 

 

Slovenia

Carnival in Slovenia is known as Kurentovanje and is celebrated in several towns, including Ptuj and Cerknica. In Ptuj, the festival is celebrated with the Kurents parade, where men in traditional costumes dance and throw corn to drive away evil spirits. The costumes are made of sheepskin and feathers, and the participants wear masks representing animals or mythical creatures. In Cerknica, the festival is known for its carnival wedding, a re-enactment of a traditional Slovenian wedding.

 

 

 

 

Carnival in Mexico

Carnival in Mexico is celebrated in several regions, including Veracruz and Mazatlán. In Veracruz, the celebration begins with the Burning of the Bad Mood, where participants write their worries and fears on a piece of paper and burn it in a symbolic act of purification. The festival also includes parades, music and dancing. In Mazatlán, the festival is known for its parade of floats and costumed revellers, who often dress up as famous movie characters or cultural icons.

 

 

Dominican Republic

Carnival in the Dominican Republic is celebrated in several cities, including Santo Domingo and La Vega. In Santo Domingo, the festival is celebrated with parades and street parties, and participants wear colourful costumes and masks. In La Vega, the festival is known for its diablos cojuelos, men in devil costumes who dance and drum.

 

 

 

 

Carnival in India

Carnival in India is known as Holi and is celebrated in spring. The festival involves throwing coloured powders and water, and participants wear white clothes that are dyed with bright colours. The festival also includes music, dance and traditional food such as sweets and fried snacks.

 

 

Jamaica

Carnival in Jamaica is known as Bacchanal and is celebrated in several cities, including Kingston and Montego Bay. The highlight of the festival is the parade of bands, where costumed revellers dance and sing to the sounds of soca and dancehall music. The costumes are colourful and often depict cultural icons or mythical creatures.

 

 

 

 

 

Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago

Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago is a vibrant and colourful event that has its roots in the country’s African and European heritage. It takes place in the two days before Ash Wednesday and is characterised by steelpan music, calypso and soca music. The main event is the parade of bands, where costumed revellers dance and sing to the music. The costumes are very elaborate and consist of feathers, sequins and glitter.

 

 

United States

Mardi Gras in the United States is celebrated in various regions, including New Orleans and Miami. In New Orleans, the festival is known as Mardi Gras and is celebrated with parades, parties and balls. The highlight of the festival is the throwing of beads and trinkets from the floats. In Miami, the festival is known as Calle Ocho and is celebrated with the Parade of Stars, featuring Latin music and dancing.

 

 

 

 

In summary, carnival traditions are celebrated in different countries around the world and often include parades, parties, music, dancing and elaborate costumes. Although individual traditions vary from country to country, they all have one thing in common: the joy and exuberance that comes with the celebration. Whether it’s the colourful samba parades in Brazil or the satirical floats in Germany, Carnival is a time for people to come together and celebrate life before the sombre season of Lent begins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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