Brazil's Carnival and New Orleans' Mardi Gras happen at the same time. Can you guess which picture is from which?

Buda Mendes/ GettyIs this Carnival or Mardi Gras?
  • New Orleans’ Mardi Gras and Brazil’s Carnival are elaborate celebrations days before Lent starts.
  • Mardi Gras’ famous parades have eccentric costumes, floats, and traditions.
  • Carnival’s celebrations include intricate shows from samba dancers.
  • Can you tell which is which?

Before the Catholic religion enters 40 days of repentance and fasting for Lent, adherents celebrate.

These celebrations happen all over the world and are larger-than-life. Two of the most notable are Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Both of these events focus on gorging on the finer things in life and doing everything in excess before giving it all up for Lent.

In early March, New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro are filled with celebrations all over the city, but the real showstoppers are their parades.

Keep reading to see which parade is which and how they differ.


Where are these two celebrating?

Josh Brasted / GettyWhere are they?

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Answer: They’re celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans and are known as Mardi Gras Indians. Some believe this cultural blending occurred when escaped slaves sought asylum with native tribes in Louisiana.


Where in the world can you find these two?

Erika Goldring/ GettyWhere are they?

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Answer: These two are at the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, where masks are commonplace.


Where in the world can you find this float?

Erika Goldring / GettyWhere can you find this float?

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Answer: This float is in New Orleans at Mardi Gras, where there are 54 separate parades with over 1,000 floats.


Where are these performers?

Buda Mendes/ GettyWhere are they?

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Answer: These dancers are in Brazil dancing during Carnival. At the event, many samba schools show up in elaborate costumes and well-rehearsed dance numbers.


Which event is this dragon float at?

Erika Goldring/ GettyWhere is this float?

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Answer: This dragon float is at Mardi Gras where you can find more than 135,000 participants.


Where in the world is this float?

Buda Mendes/ GettyWhere is this?

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Answer: This float can be found in Brazil during the Carnival event proceeding the “blocos de rua,” which are smaller street parades.


Is this Mardi Gras or Carnival?

Raphael Dias/ GettyWhere is she?

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Answer: This performer is in Brazil at Carnival and is a member of the most popular samba school, Mangueira. There are about 100 samba schools in Rio, and they all march in the parade. They are judged and scored at Carnival, declaring a winner at the end. Mangueira has the most wins.


Where is this elaborate costume found?

Erika Goldring / GettyWhere is he?

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Answer: This is another Mardi Gras Indian participant in New Orleans. Costumes are usually hand sewn and decorated with beads, plumes, sequins, and rhinestones. It typically takes one year to create a Mardi Gras Indian costume.


Where can you find this colourful float?

NurPhoto/ GettyWhere are they?

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Answer: This elaborate float is at Carnival in Brazil where more than 2 million people participate in the events.


Where can you find this winged participant?

MAURO PIMENTEL/ GettyWhere is she?

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Answer: This is another samba dancer at the Carnival parade in Brazil, which takes place in the Samadrome.


Where is this street performance?

Emily Kask/ GettyWhere is this?

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Answer: This is known as the Skull and Bone Gang in New Orleans, which has roots in African spirituality.


Is this float at Mardi Gras or Carnival?

Erika Goldring/ GettyWhere is this float?

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Answer: This float is in New Orleans, which has all the official colours of Mardi Gras: purple is for justice, green is for faith, and gold is for power.


Where do you think this heavily beaded statue can be found?

Erika Goldring/ GettyWhere is this?

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Answer: This statue is at Mardi Gras because beads are a major staple in the New Orleans’ tradition. In fact, about 25 million pounds of beads are used every year.


Where are these masked participants?

Emily Kasik/ GettyWhere is this parade?

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Answer: This is known as the Skull and Bone Gang in New Orleans during their early morning parade. During this parade, they knock on doors and wake up the neighbourhood, chanting, “If you don’t live right, the Bone Man is commin’ for ya.”


Are these zombie dancers in New Orleans or Brazil?

Raphael Dias/ GettyWhere are they?

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Answer: These creepy dancers are in Brazil at Carnival. They belong to samba schools, which act as social groups but also have social responsibilities, including education and rehabilitation.


Is this float in a Mardi Gras parade or a Carnival parade?

Xinhua News Agency/ GettyWhere is this?

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Answer: This intricate parade float is at Carnival in Brazil, which has been described as “the greatest party on the planet.”

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