Carnival is usually celebrated in the period before the countdown to Easter. In some countries,
celebrations last two weeks and culminate with one massive Mardi Gras party. Mardi Gras is the
last Tuesday before Lent, but it is often used to refer to the whole celebration period. Traditionally
it is the time when Christians use up all the rich food in their cupboards (like butter, eggs, sugar
and flour plus any other ingredients needed to make cakes!) before they begin to observe the
period of Lent.
Carnival is still a big event in many countries around the world. In Italy, schools close for two days.
Carnival in Venice attracts lots of tourists and is famous for its masked parades, but Brazil, the
United States and Trinidad and Tobago are also well-known for their great street parties at this
time of year.
In Rio de Janeiro, people wear bright costumes with feathers in their hair and dance the samba; in
New Orleans, the people on the floats throw beads to the watching crowds, and in Trinidad and
Tobago, they play steelpans to produce vibrant music that everyone dances to.
Whichever way you to choose to celebrate carnival this year, you’re sure to have brilliant fun. With
music, dancing, dressing-up and lots of sweet snacks, what’s not to enjoy?
By Sarah Gudgeon
floats: carri da parata
beads: collane di perline
steelpans: strumento metallico a percussione
dressing-up: mettere costumi