Zambo: a mysterious festival marked every year in Tripoli

Every year on the eve of Orthodox Christian Lent, Lebanese people in


celebrate a mysterious 100-year-old festival called Zambo. Body paints, wigs, glitter, and masks are part of this celebration which is believed to have South American origins. According to some residents, Lebanese immigrants who returned from Brazil and Argentina brought the tradition with them. Others say that Senegalese forces that were stationed in Lebanon used to dress this way to calm down Lebanese citizens during World War II. No matter where this carnival originates from, it is indeed doing a good job is bringing people together every year. Kids and adults from different religious backgrounds walk in the streets of Mina while chanting “Zambo! Zambo! Zambo!” At the end of the festival, the celebrators run into the sea to wash off their body paints.

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