Carnival in the US and England
Amelia: In the USA, we like to celebrate. We have carnivals and parades at all times of the year, but the most famous one is called Mardi Gras. It takes place in the winter in New Orleans and other cities throughout the country. Do you have this kind of celebration in England?
Peter: Well, unfortunately carnivals and parades aren't very common in England but there is one called the Notting Hill Carnival, which takes place once every year in London and is the biggest carnival in England.
Amelia: That sounds cool! The big event for Mardi Gras is the parade, with carnival floats that drive through the streets. They're always brightly painted and decorated with garlands and flowers, and each float has a different theme. There are lots of people wearing masks or disguised as clowns and jesters. Is it like that at Notting Hill?
Peter: Yes it is. Many people wear colourful costumes. But the Notting Hill Carnival is influenced mainly by Caribbean tradition, so you won't see many people dressed as clowns with false noses. Because it's a very international event, you will see people waving flags from many different countries. And the food stands offer exotic foods and drinks from all over the world.
Amelia: Mardi Gras has more of a French influence, like much of Louisiana’s culture, but by now it’s become a classic American tradition. The streets are always beautifully decorated with paper streamers and bunting, and the people on the floats throw handfuls of confetti and small gifts. If you ever get the chance, you should check it out!