The vibrant spirit of Carnival is alive and well in New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, and other cities across the Americas and Europe. Each location boasts its own unique customs, but there are certain traditions that unite them all in festivities.
Dancers in elaborate feathered headdresses can be seen strutting and gyrating in parades featuring floats adorned with giant figures of Greek gods or pop stars. The streets are filled with revelers dressed up in costumes, and the themes of the various celebrations range from playful to satirical. In Salvador and outside Bourbon Street nightclubs in New Orleans, shoulder-to-shoulder crowds dance to the infectious rhythms blasted from music trucks.
As the weekend wore on, fanciful costumes became more prevalent among revelers. In Madre de Deus, Brazil, one group of dancers even donned costumes made entirely out of beer cans during a parade on Sunday. In New Orleans, a reveler strolled down Bourbon Street wearing an intricately beaded hat adorned with gold butterflies.
Politicians and world leaders were not spared from being mocked during the festivities. In Cologne, Germany, a float portrayed Vladimir Putin as a giant sushi roll eating Ukraine while “Choke on it” was written on it in bold letters. In New Orleans, caricatures of Donald Trump President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and local mayor were featured prominently on floats during the parades.