This is the time of year when Carnival celebrations abound. The festivals leading up to the beginning of Lent take place all over the world, and each country has its own traditions and customs. I was just poking around online, looking for something beyond the more well-known celebrations (like Brazil and New Orleans) and two in particular caught my attention.
One was Madrid. In Madrid they have fancy-dress contests and parties all over the place. A highlight of the celebration is the traditional “Burial of the Sardine”, in which people dressed in black cloaks and hats parade through town carrying a coffin that contains a fake dead sardine. Great tradition, two thumbs up.
Another big European Carnival celebration is on the French Riviera. They really go all out every year. They have a special theme, which they incorporate into all kinds of events and parties and performances. Last year the theme was King of the Blue Planet, with a nod to environmental awareness and appreciation for our Earth. This year it's King of the Mediterranean. It starts tomorrow. You can learn about it at their website. It looks like a cross between Mardi Gras and The Little Mermaid.
Happy Carnival, everyone.