With the end of August approaching, many cities worldwide will no doubt be hearing the upbeat rhythm of steel drums and fanfare as many host carnivals.
Carnival originated as a festival to celebrate before lent. The festival has since been adapted into large colourful street parties with Rio De Janeiro’s and London’s Notting Hill carnival becoming huge events attracting millions of spectators. The modern carnival has also changed with one’s such as the Notting Hill carnival becoming more secular events held in the summer months. Tokyo has noticed this with August 26 marking the 36th annual Asakusa Samba and carnival. The carnival itself consists of 5,000 participants and attracts an estimated 500,000 visitors. The samba carnival is modelled heavily on the Rio De Janiero Carnival which is no surprise as Brazil is home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan. This year’s event did however did incorporate some unique Japanese culture with the themes for many of the costumes being based on Kabuki outfits. Kabuki is a unique type of Japanese theatre utilizing melodramatic acting and dance as well as striking and bold make-up.
Overall the event seemed to be a great success with large crowds and smiles all around as people were embracing the color and rhythm of the carnival.