LISBON (Reuters) - Portuguese revellers portray Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as sharks, in a yearly carnival famed for its political satire.
Thousands of people turned out on Sunday, despite rain, to parade and party through the streets of the town of Torres Vedras, which closes down every year for a five-day celebration which organisers expect to draw 350,000 people.
“We do carnival because it’s a custom, we can’t go without carnival!” said Afonso, 58, who was dressed as a maid looking after a baby.
“The carnival in Torres is the most Portuguese there is.”
This year’s theme is Tides and Oceans. On a tableau in the town centre, there is a figure of German Chancellor Angela Merkel as a mermaid. The heads of Putin and Kim are attached to the bodies of sharks holding knives and forks.
President Donald Trump also appears with a shark’s body and is held fast by Neptune, god of the sea.
Floats are driven through the town. One has another figure of Trump sitting on a toilet shaped like the planet earth. Behind him is an angry Kim Jong Un holding a rocket.
“We have a great variety of originality,” said Cesar Costa, one of the organizers. “This is a carnival about political and social satire.”
Carnivals marking the start of Lent have been celebrated in Portugal for centuries and in many towns last several days.
Reporting by Miguel Perreira; writing by Axel Bugge; editing by Andrew Roche