BBC: Angola Celebrates Carnival

Carnival Float on Luanda's Marginal

Brazil is famous the world over for its celebration of Mardi Gras, the day that marks the start of Lent, the Christian period of fasting. But the people of Angola also take this festival very seriously with their own version of Carnival that’s been celebrated there since the country became a Portuguese colony.

 

When the country’s war of independence began in 1961, Carnival activities were severely restricted and were monitored by military police. But since 1975, people in every major city of the country have celebrated Carnival freely.

 

Around a dozen different teams will take part in the processions in Luanda this year. Dancers will dress up in outlandish costumes and parade through the streets, while live bands on floats provide the music.

 

Dancing

Teams can chose which type of Angolan music they want to perform to – slower rhythms like Kazukuta or something faster like Semba, the forerunner of South America’s Samba. All of this takes place in front of a crowd of spectators lining the waters edge on the bay of Luanda.

 

There are three days of competition starting today with the children’s groups and culminating on Tuesday with the main adult competition. In Luanda, Sarah Grainger visited the headquarters of last year’s winners to find out how preparations are going….

 

BBC Network Africa Angola Celebrates Carnival

 

The Shinier the Better

Carnival King