Carnival in Mariestad Sweden gives a Scandinavian taste of Samba and Rio de Janeiro: parades with scantily clad beautiful “Brazilian” women and fantastic costumes. Most customs and celebrations are actually of pre-Christian origin; Fertility and the budding spring were celebrated. The first celebration may have taken place around 600 BC and a trace of the major parties is found in Osiris in Egypt. There were also major carnivals in the Roman Empire.

You get the same feeling when our vacation home city changes its name for the day to MaRioStad. My wife DianeCA and I, on our way to the city centre for a romantic dinner, accidentally came across the parade and I just had to capture the fun and share it with my blog friends. Luckily I always have my Nokia X6 mobile phone on hand:
Scandinavian Carnival in MaRioStad Sweden #1

Carnival is nearly synonymous with Rio, but that is not the only place. On the contrary, it’s celebrated throughout most of the world, especially in Catholic countries. Other major carnival cities include e.g. Verona, Nice, Lisbon, Verona, Cologne and Lisbon. People are preparing for months, saving money for the big party. In Mariestad there were huge expectations and everyone turned out so the sidewalks were full (click pics to bigify & enjoy):
Scandinavian Carnival in MaRioStad Sweden #5 Scandinavian Carnival in MaRioStad Sweden #6
People with big expectations – all over!
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Although Rio’s is today’s carnival capital, this celebration has it’s origin in Europe. The ancient Romans had large rallies in the street, where they among other things, drew a boat with them. There was plenty of food and drink and a grand feast for the occasion. In the middle Ages, carnival was to some degree celebrated in Scandinavia, but this celebration disappeared with the Reformation in 1537. I think it’s good that this tradition is reborn in Mariestad and with a cute, local twist:
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Willy’s Steamboat float – Pippi Longstockings
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Colourful clowns – What about a rolling rock band, now that’s rock n roll
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Fancy cars and pretty girls

Before I end, let’s get back to the samba feeling and these beautiful women (mostly) and fantastic costumes:
Scandinavian Carnival in MaRioStad Sweden #4 Scandinavian Carnival in MaRioStad Sweden #3

I also had to check out the video feature on my new Nokia X6 – here you are: Turn up you’re speakers and let you’re feet lead the way:

One thing that is wonderful about Mariestad is that whenever something is happening in town all the locals turn out for the event. This time the weather was good and the atmosphere was energetic. Since this was our last week of the summer vacation in Mariestad, I think it was a smashing end to our stay – don’t you agree?

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