The Carnival holiday in Uruguay comes each year in February or March, as in many other significantly Roman Catholic countries. The date varies, but it always immediately precedes Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of a 40-day Lenten fast leading up to Easter.
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In Uruguay, Carnival has as many African roots as European so that song and dance styles like “candombre” tend to dominate the contests and fill the streets of Montevideo for weeks on end.
There are numerous parades, focused especially in the capital and largest city of Montevideo. Dancers and singers perform in the streets as well as in the Summer Theatre. Artists also compete, and there are makeshift stages called “tablados” in the streets where plays are performed.
Uruguay’s Carnival has a very different “flavour” than that in Rio. It is focused more on culture and art than on mere entertainment, though of course there is plenty of both!