While Carnival season may be better known in places such as Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans, Mexico has celebrations of its own.

In the state of Veracruz, some communities celebrate Carnival from February to May, during the end of the sugar-cane-cutting season. But this year, because of the pandemic, celebrations have been canceled to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. Still, people have found a way to celebrate at home.

The town of Tuzamapan, located in the center of Veracruz, and Almolonga, an Afro-Mexican community, have celebrated Carnival for more than 100 years.

The main character of the Tuzamapan Carnival is the “Bonetero,” named after a large hat made of paper and wood. Men wear the hat with a wooden mask that covers their identity and carry a large, wooden machete as part of their costume.

In Almolonga, people dress in colorful bull masks, which are a sign of masculinity and also sin, and they dance and celebrate in the streets.

In the community of Alto Tío Diego in Veracruz, Carnival is celebrated before the beginning of Lent and traditionally includes large parades.

The inhabitants are mostly coffee and sugar cane farmers, with some ranchers. Their ancestors were descendants of European immigrants who settled in the region in the 19th century. They adopted the Carnival tradition and costumes of the surrounding Afro-descendant towns. Popular mask shapes include donkeys, bulls and goats, and they are often hand-carved and passed down for generations.

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