The final days of revelry before Lent are being celebrated with joyous Carnival festivities in New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, and other cities in the Americas and Europe. Each location has its own unique Carnival traditions, but there are undeniable similarities. Parades filled with dancers in feathered headdresses, extravagant floats depicting Greek gods or pop stars, and an abundance of costumes are common sights.
In Salvador and outside Bourbon Street nightclubs in New Orleans, shoulder-to-shoulder crowds gather to savor the music and rhythms around music trucks. As the celebrations reach their peak, the number of fanciful costumes continues to grow. For example, a group of revelers in Madre de Deus, Brazil, created costumes out of beer and soda cans for a parade on Sunday. Meanwhile, in New Orleans, a reveler strolled down Bourbon Street wearing a intricately beaded hat adorned with gold butterflies.
In addition to the lighthearted revelry, Carnival celebrations also feature satirical elements. Politicians and world figures are often lampooned during parades and floats. In Cologne, Germany, a float depicted a giant Vladimir Putin eating Ukraine with the words “Choke on it” lettered on it. In New Orleans, caricatures of Donald Trump, President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as the local mayor, were ridiculed on floats.
Overall, the celebrations are a time of vibrant music, dancing, and revelry as people come together to mark the final days before the beginning of Lent.