five of the most colorful carnivals of the world

“RBC Lifestyle” talks about Shrovetide carnivals in Lucerne, Rio de Janeiro and other Christian cities of the planet.

In the Christian tradition, most Catholic and Orthodox Nations week before fasting dedicated to entertainment, play with masks and disguises and eating a huge amount of “meat” (i.e., not vegetable) food: greasy pancakes, meat, cakes with butter cream and the like — depending on gastronomic traditions. Symbolically the Maslenitsa need to “work up in reserve” for the entire seven-week lent. not to be distracted by thoughts of food and other simple pleasures until Easter — no wonder the word “carnival” comes from the Latin carne, vale (“meat, farewell”). Historians believe that Shrovetide traditions in Europe older than Christianity, and in such ancient festival marked the arrival of spring and the celebration of fertility. In each country Carnival and the carnival have their own characteristics, and in some cities, the carnival becomes a real tourist event.

Lucerne, Switzerland

15-18 February

Carnival is celebrated throughout the city. The protagonists of the holiday — folk characters old Ricci (Fritschi), his wife Frissina (Fritschene) and their son Freechecking (Fritschikind). The main event of the carnival concert Guggemuusige, show bands in carnival masks. They play well-known melodies of wind and percussion, often deliberately not getting into the beat. To get to Lucerne from Geneva, Zurich or Basel on the Swiss Travel System ticket, allowing visitors to enjoy all kinds of public transport and discounts on Museum tickets.

February 14-17

Carnival in Rio is probably the most famous in the world. Not least because it very clearly intertwined Christian symbolism, the pagan cults of the local population and traditions of the descendants of black slaves. In the city there are many Samba schools, which the whole year preparing for the holiday. Carnival is a theatrical parade on so-called “Sambadrome” in downtown Rio. The Samba schools compete with each other, and on each skill of the participants is given an hour and a half. Dancers in bright costumes and plumes of colored feathers dancing to the rhythmic sound of drums, but judges will evaluate each school on multiple criteria. However, dance to allow everyone, including tourists.

13 February — 1 March

The origin of the Carnaval De Nice historians date 1294 year, and after its institution is attributed to the Duke of Anjou, in commemoration of the arrival in the city, the inhabitants of nice arranged fireworks and parades. Now the carnival lasts for two weeks, his hero is himself, His Majesty Carnival. On the place Massena arrange a makeshift stadium from painted by street artists and illuminated with thousands of lights plywood. City residents and tourists shrieked at each other from cans of coloured paint. The climax of the carnival — “Battle of flowers”. It is a parade of platforms to 7 m long, fully decorated with flowers. Florists and decorators platforms compete with each other — the most beautiful flower mosaic on the platform becomes the winner. In addition to floral platforms, in the city drive cars with huge puppets, illuminated from the inside.

New Orleans, USA

13 – 18 February

The American carnival in New Orleans is founded by French traditional for the emigrants of the name Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”). The citywide event has grown from a relatively modest costume presentation on the occasion of the meeting of spring in the French quarter of the city. In it, as in other cities of the world, the focus is decorated, and filled the mummers europlatform (formerly wagons pulled by horses). Since 1872, every year the carnival is headed by “king” and “Queen” with the court in masks and colourful costumes, who went at the head of the carnival procession at the biggest and catchy platform and dropped in the audience with fake coins, plastic trinkets and cheap beads.

Venice carnival opens in a traditional Festa delle Marie. It is based on a historical story about the liberation of the Venetian kidnapped girls, Istrian pirates. The Venetians held a carnival marching along the promenade and Piazza San Marco, over which the pull rope and aerialists perform. A competition for the best mask, i.e. a carnival costume. Ordinary painted mask — hand made of leather or papier-mache or cheap plastic, factory-made — may buy any tourist on every corner. The most popular masks, however, is not painted, and white, with a long nose, called Medico della Peste. Such wore Venetian doctors during the plague, placing the nose of aromatic substances, designed to protect from infection.

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