Thursday, February 23, 2012

Carnival Festivals & Ash Wednesday

Photo © Vanderlei Almeida/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Most of the important photo blogs have by now featured images of the Carnival in Rio De Janeiro, and elsewhere... whether  in South and Central America or Europe.

For instance, these large sized photographs appeared on The Sacramento Bee's The Frame, on the Boston Globe's The Big Picture, twice on The Atlantic In Focus and here, as well as on The Wall Street Journal's Photo Journal.

If there's one festival I want to attend and photograph, it's certainly Rio's Carnival. With all its colors, fantastic costumes, wonderful music and utterly gorgeous women, it's unquestionably the most magnetic of the world's festivals. In my view, head and shoulders over its Venetian cousin.

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is held before Lent every year, and is considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723.

Photo © Jose Cabezas/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which according to the Gospels, marks the
beginning of the 40 days period during which Jesus spent fasting in the desert
before the start of his public ministry, and during which he endured temptation
by Satan.

It's quite common in mid-town Manhattan to see Catholics emerging from St Patrick's

Cathedral on Fifth Avenue with smears of ash on their foreheads; traditionally
signifying repentance and mourning.

When I first worked in Manhattan, I had no clue of this and almost telling one of my
colleagues that he had dirt on his forehead...but i caught myself in time when I noticed
others had it as well.

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