Benin opens first edition of Ouidah International Carnival

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Masked artists participate in the parade of the first edition of the Ouidah International Carnival, in Ouidah, Benin, Dec. 30, 2023. (Photo by Seraphin Zounyekpe/Xinhua)
Masked artists participate in the parade of the first edition of the Ouidah International Carnival, in Ouidah, Benin, Dec. 30, 2023. (Photo by Seraphin Zounyekpe/Xinhua)

The first edition of the Ouidah International Carnival, aimed at reviving the spirit of carnival events in Benin and the West African region, kicked off on Thursday in the coastal city of Ouidah, southern Benin.

Artists perform traditional dance during the parade of the first edition of the Ouidah International Carnival, in Ouidah, Benin, Dec. 30, 2023. (Photo by Seraphin Zounyekpe/Xinhua)
Artists perform traditional dance during the parade of the first edition of the Ouidah International Carnival, in Ouidah, Benin, Dec. 30, 2023. (Photo by Seraphin Zounyekpe/Xinhua)
According to Wilfried Houndje, the carnival’s delegate, more than 4,000 people will parade through the streets of Ouidah on Saturday, dressed in a variety of disguises and accompanied by African music and entertainment.

Members of the martial arts club of the Chinese Cultural Center in Benin perform dragon dance during the parade of the first edition of the Ouidah International Carnival, in Ouidah, Benin, Dec. 30, 2023. (Photo by Seraphin Zounyekpe/Xinhua)
Members of the martial arts club of the Chinese Cultural Center in Benin perform dragon dance during the parade of the first edition of the Ouidah International Carnival, in Ouidah, Benin, Dec. 30, 2023. (Photo by Seraphin Zounyekpe/Xinhua)
“The Ouidah International Carnival is designed to be a major street event, a popular demonstration and celebration that brings people and communities together across cultural and identity divides,” he said.

The carnival, which lasts until Sunday, he added, will also be a showcase for the cultural colors of Benin, Africa and the world through a harmonious blend of rhythms, dances, traditions and artistic creations.

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