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Listen to Excess Baggage for

17 February 2007

CARNIVALS ROUND THE WORLD

Carnivals and end of winter festivals are being celebrated across the world, from New Orleans to Nepal, Trinidad to Cologne. 

Although the origins of Carnival are lost in the medieval mists of time, John McCarthy goes in search of its history and discusses its enduring appeal with Trinidadian poet Roger Robinson; Publisher of Mardi Gras magazine and a fifth generation New Orleanian Arthur Hardy; Head of the Cologne tourist board Josef Sommer and travel writer James McConnachie, who has contributed to the new Rough Guide to the world’s best festivals called World Party.


Presented by John McCarthy

Rough Guides and DK Travel


Photo: Carnival (Courtesy of Rough Guides and DK Travel)

This week's guests: 

James McConnachie is a writer and traveller. James wrote the Rough Guide to Nepal and Paris and the Loire Valley and has contributed to “World party: a guide to the world’s best festivals”.

In India and Nepal end of winter follow the Christian calendar.  James went to the Hindu Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu also know as Shiva’s Big Night, where the god’s followers gather in tens of thousands to experience the divine.  According to legend, the last winds of winter send the pilgrims scurrying home.

World Party: The Rough Guide to the World's Best Festivals
Publisher: Rough Guides
ISBN-10: 1843535289
ISBN-13: 978-1843535287

Roger Robinson, is a Trinidadian poet, short fiction writer and lyricist. His performances often incorporate words and music.  Roger believes that the highly popular carnival in Trinidad is not about letting your hair down but about “the releasing of the spirit” letting go of the things that have been bothering you.

Suitcase
Publisher: Flipped Eye Publishing
ISBN-10: 0954224779
ISBN-13: 978-0954224776

Adventures in 3D
Publisher: Lubin & Kleyner
ISBN-10: 095415700
ISBN-13: 978-0954157005

Arthur Hardy is the publisher of the Mardi Gras Guide which has been going for thirty one years.  He’s a fifth generation New Orleanian and a Mardi Gras historian.  2006 marked the 150th anniversary of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Arthur talks about the city’s first Mardi Gras since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans – an illustrated history
By Arthur Hardy
ISBN 0-930892-62-3

New Orleans Mardi Gras

The Mistick Krewe of Comus

Josef Sommer is the head of the Cologne Tourist Board.  Carnival has been celebrated in the City of Cologne since Roman times;  In 1823 Cologne celebrated the first Rose Monday (Rosenmontag) the highlight of the Carnival with the start of the official parade.

Cologne carnival

Cologne tourist board – Carnival information

Luton Carnival Arts Development Trust
The Hat Factory, 65-67 Bute Street, Luton LU1 2EY
Tel: 01582 876 084

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PRESENTER BIOGRAPHIES

John McCarthy John McCarthy is a widely travelled journalist and presenter with a particular interest in the Middle East.
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