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Carnivals Around the World

Festival Photos

(C) Haga Library

The people of old Europe thought the reason of the dark and cold winter was caused by evils. When people found the sign of the spring, they celebrated to drive away the winter evils. In Christianity, Easter is celebrated in March or April. 40 days before the Easter, except no counting of Sundays, is the Fat Tuesday which is the last day of the carnivals. Today, the old spring celebrations mixed with the carnivals for spring celebrations.

The Date of Carnival
2014 March 2, 3, 4
2015 Feb 15, 16, 17
2016 Feb 7, 8, 9
2017 Feb 26, 27, 28

Feb 11, 12, 13

2019 March 3, 4, 5
2020 Feb 23, 24, 25

Carnival of Nice

France, Nice

In the warm sunlight of the noon of Nice, south France, the groups of Mardigras are parading through the main street. The top of the parade is noble ladies who holds yellow mimosa flowers. The next is the musical bands who are wearing big masks and are playing the theme music of this year's carnival. Following them, there is a big float on which the big figure of the winter king wearing a gold crown, is installed. Spectators throw ticker tapes with the yells. At the night, the winter king is burned at the beach. Then the citizens of Nice celebrate the visiting of spring.

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Carnival of Venice

Venetia, Italy

On the carnival days, as so many crowds gathers to Piazza San Marco, the canal town of Venetia is seemed to sink under the water. The group people and individuals are disguising each according to his / her own fancy and walking around the town. There is no parade for this carnival. You can buy your favorite masks at a souvenir shops of the back streets and can join to the carnival. An old man can be a goddess who are decorated by flowers. At the twilight of the end of winter, the mist come into the town from the North Alps. Under the gas lights of the streets, there are travelers who are still disguising and straying their fancy worlds.

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Koln, Germany

In German, carnival is called as "Fastnacht". The second day of the three days carnival is called as Rose Monday and there is a big parade through the main street. On this day, the citizens of Koln disguise and go out to see the parade. It is very enjoyable. The house ladies who are supposed to be graceful on ordinary days, make up their lips with red lipsticks to draw big mouths and provoke the men in the parade. Other citizens jump into the parade and sing songs together, or young couples kiss each other. Children blow soap bubbles. It is like a fantasy world.

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Basel Fastnacht

Basel, Switzerland

The carnival days of Basel is very livery because not only from Switzerland but also from German and Austria, people come to Basel to disguise. The quite old town looks like overturning a box of toys on the carnival days. There is a group, falling into step together and wearing holy masks, are playing flutes calmly and walking along the old town's streets. In contrast to the noisy other groups, the calm music of the flutes touch the heart of travelers. They paraded on the stone paved road and faded away into a side street.

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New Orleans, U.S.A.

Louisiana state of New Orleans was prospered from producing of cotton and sugar cane in early 19 century. There were many rich plantation owners. At the carnival season, those owners rode on floats and threw the money and jewels to the poor people of the town. Today, hundreds of crews ride on the several dozen of floats and parade the streets. The crew throw toy jewels to the spectators. There is a king and a queen on each float and bring their 50 crews. As the carnival days are passing, people, cars, and even dogs wear toy jewels more and more.

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Winter Carnival

Quebec, Canada

The coldest place of the carnival is the Winter Carnival of Quebec, Canada. The temperature is -30C, which is -22F. The breath is frozen and when I tried to install a film to a camera, the film was easily broken down. There is a snow castle and a snow amusement park at the center of the carnival place. There are snow and ice sculptures along the street. People of Quebec enjoy the carnival very vividly in this icy world. The snow queen is selected and she parade on the illuminated float. There are competition of ice fishing at a frozen lake and a canoe race was held on the ice river where the temperature is -50C. Town people also enjoy volley balls on the snow ground wearing in swimsuits.

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The carnival of Trinidad and Tobago

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago is Caribbean Islands. Their music culture is fantastic. They produced Caripso music and steel drums. During the carnival days, town people enjoy drinking Ram and music. There are competitions of the powerful sounds of 100 steel drums. There are also fancy dress competitions and a king and a queen who are selected by the points of originality and creativity of the dresses. All nation people are excited with the mass parade on the last day of the carnival. There are float parades decorated by the yearly theme of the carnival. With the floats, hundreds of dancers dance on the streets through the day and the night. The quiet town of Port of Spain is now livened up.

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The carnival of Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil of South America is now mid summer season. Strong summer sun light is shining. The carnival is the most exciting moment for the Brazilians. They work and save money for a year in order to participate to the carnival. Most people in Rio de Janeiro go to Samba schools. There are hundreds of Samba schools in the town. The carnival is the competition of Samba schools. Victory or Defeat is depended on the originality and creativity of the theme of the float, music, costumes and dances. A school of parade consist of 5000 dancers. They dance and parade on 800m road for 90 minutes with loud Samba music. On the gorgeous huge float, hundreds of dancers are keep dancing. As there are 10 to 12 schools participate on each night, the last parade finishes in the dawn. All music songs are Samba, the heart of Brazil. The phrase of "Oh, Brazil" is repeated by thousand times. The moment of unification by patriotism.

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