Carnival Celebrations Across the Globe: A Feast of Color, Music, and Satire

Global Carnival Celebrations Reach Peak Joy in New Orleans, Rio, and Cologne as Lent Nears

As the Carnival celebrations reach their peak in New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, and other locations across the Americas and Europe, revelers are donning fanciful costumes and hitting the streets to enjoy the festivities. Each city has its own unique customs, but there are undeniable similarities in the joyful atmosphere.

Dancers in feathered headdresses can be seen gyrating and strutting in parades featuring elaborate floats with giant figures of Greek gods or pop stars. The streets are filled with revelers in costumes, and the themes of the various festivities range from whimsical to satirical. In Salvador and outside Bourbon Street nightclubs in New Orleans, shoulder-to-shoulder crowds savor the music and rhythms from music trucks.

As the celebrations grew over the weekend, fanciful costumes became more common. In Madre de Deus, Brazil, one group of revelers even wore costumes made from beer and soda cans during a parade on Sunday. In New Orleans, a reveler strolled down Bourbon Street in an intricately beaded hat adorned with gold butterflies.

Politicians and world figures were not immune to being lampooned during the Carnival celebrations. In Cologne, Germany, a float showed a giant Vladimir Putin eating Ukraine with the words “Choke on it” lettered on it. In New Orleans, Donald Trump, President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and the local mayor were all ridiculed in caricatures on floats.

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