Celebrate Carnival in Montevideo

Think Carnival in Latin America and Brazil immediately springs to mind.  But its tiny neighbour Uruguay celebrates what is perhaps the longest carnival in the world – over a month of festivities. The celebrations there have evolved from the one day off which the 18th century wealthy residents of Montevideo granted their African slaves.  A drum-based musical form from that era, candombe, rapidly merged with other Uruguayan music to create the current rhythms. Nowadays Carnival features street parades with outlandish costumes, including samba school competitions; and  theatrical events with song and poetry, many occurring in different residential zones in the capital. The action intensifies over the official Mardi Gras weekend which ends on Ash Wednesday.