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LISBON (Reuters)

Portuguese revelers 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 organizers expect to draw 350,000 people.

 

Carnival participants march during a parade in Torres Vedras
Carnival participants march during a parade in Torres Vedras, Portugal February 11, 2018. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

 

“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.”

 

Carnival participants march during a parade in Torres Vedras
Carnival participants march during a parade in Torres Vedras, Portugal February 11, 2018. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

 

This year’s theme is Tides and Oceans. On a tableau in the town center, 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.

 

A carnival chariot is seen with figures of soccer players Cristiano Ronaldo, Leonel Messi and Neymar during a parade in Torres Vedras
A carnival chariot is seen with figures of soccer players Cristiano Ronaldo, Leonel Messi and Neymar during a parade in Torres Vedras, Portugal February 11, 2018. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

 

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.

 

A carnival chariot is seen with a figure of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker during a parade in Torres Vedras
A carnival chariot is seen with a figure of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker during a parade in Torres Vedras, Portugal February 11, 2018. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

 

“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)

 

 

Carnival participants march during a parade in Torres Vedras
Carnival participants march during a parade in Torres Vedras, Portugal February 11, 2018. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

 

A carnival chariot is seen with figures of U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a parade in Torres Vedras
A carnival chariot is seen with figures of U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a parade in Torres Vedras, Portugal February 11, 2018. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

 

Carnival participants march during a parade in Torres Vedras
Carnival participants march during a parade in Torres Vedras, Portugal February 11, 2018. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

 

Keep reading (more images ahead) …

 

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