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!
Scandinavian Carnival in MaRioStad Sweden #7 Scandinavian Carnival in MaRioStad Sweden #8

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:
Scandinavian Carnival in MaRioStad Sweden #13 Scandinavian Carnival in MaRioStad Sweden #15
Willy’s Steamboat float – Pippi Longstockings
Scandinavian Carnival in MaRioStad Sweden #10 Scandinavian Carnival in MaRioStad Sweden #14
Colourful clowns – What about a rolling rock band, now that’s rock n roll
Scandinavian Carnival in MaRioStad Sweden #11 Scandinavian Carnival in MaRioStad Sweden #12
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?


  1. Nice! I love carnival. Pitty that it isnt celebrated in the streets of Oslo any more like before.

  2. Wow, where do you find these lovely exotic women? It is like in Rio alright!

    I wish we had a similar Carnival in Ottawa.


    Carnival is celebrated in London and Leeds (where I live) at the end of August. The London Notting Hill carnival lasts two days with, surprisingly, very few arrests and those mainly drug-related I believe.

    The energy and joy they exude is wonderful and one can’t help but smile and foot-tap along with the rhythm of the music.

  4. What a fun moment you had here! I thought carnival took always place at spring! I enjoy to learn that there are still ones at the end of august!
    I would want to be there! But you’ll tell me all with the details on wednesday !!! Yes we’ll be in Oslo on wednesday!!! I don’t dream, it’s the reality!

  5. trinidad is also known for its carnival celebration. great puictures. :)

  6. The words “carnival” and “Mariestad” sound quite different when put together. As you say, Carnivale is associated with Rio, but hey, let’s have a good party any time!! I love doing the samba or any Latin American dance for that matter…it’s so much fun!

    Thanks for the photos, Renny. I’m looking forward to hearing of the Bloggers’ Gathering and I’m very sorry I’m not able to be there…however, I’m there in spirit.

  7. Looks like a fun time.

  8. Dancing and music not only make for a good finish, they make a good beginning. We don’t dance enough in the rat-race lifestyle of the western world. Sigh.

  9. Just face it, Renny: Your life is one big party! :) Actually, the truth is that your life is one big celebration. I like that.

  10. Hi Renny,

    So, you guys have a Brazilian community there, eh? I love samba (I listen to it always and dance to the sound of it as well – only with full clothing LOL LOL).

    Yes, Portugal also celebrates the carnival (Portuguese and Brazilian styles) and it is quite beautiful and brave (cause they do it in the middle of winter).


  11. wowww! so HOT!!! the weather,the pics and the video,haha! Your Nokia cooperates with you well,Renny.

    great to see your posts again!well,as you know,im stucked at FB,recently…hehe and at least I see Diane every now and then. :)


  12. All of us need to have a bit of fun, and this way seems to be better than most :-)

  13. wishing you and diane the happiest of new years and all the best in 2011

  14. I really appreciate what you post here,very refreshing and intelligent. One issue though, I’m running Firefox with Linux and sections of your layout pieces are a little wonky. I recognize it’s not really the popular system, yet it’s always a thing to keep an eye on.

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