Australia

Glitter and glamour at Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

A participant wears elaborate make-up and headdress during the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival in Sydney, Australia March 4, 2017. Image copyright Reuters

Thousands of revellers hit the streets for one of the world's largest gay and lesbian festivals - the Sydney Mardi Gras parade.

Organisers said about 250,000 people came out to watch the parade down Sydney's Oxford Street.

The annual parade began as a protest in the 1970s, but now has almost 200 floats and thousands of marching participants.

Two men in full pink bodypaint use umbrellas in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival, arriving during early rain showers in Sydney, Australia March 4, 2017. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Early rain showers threatened to dampen spirits (and smear body paint) - but soon cleared
Glitter is sprinkled on a male participant in make-up, who turns his face from an accompanying adhesive spray, during the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival in Sydney, Australia March 4, 2017. Image copyright Reuters
A woman in a bikini and elaborate yellow and green feathered headress and collar, in the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival prepares her costume in Sydney, Australia March 4, 2017 Image copyright Reuters
A costumed participant in golden feathered wings and headdress takes a selfie during the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival in Sydney, Australia March 4, 2017. Image copyright Reuters
Participants in silver crowns and carrying tidents prepare for the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in Sydney, Saturday, March 4, 2017. Image copyright AP
A shirtess male couple take a selfie during the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival in Sydney, Australia March 4, 2017. Image copyright Reuters
A woman wearing devil horns in front of a rainbow light prepares for the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in Sydney, Saturday, March 4, 2017. Image copyright AP
Participants dance before for the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in Sydney, Saturday, March 4, 2017. Image copyright AP
Image caption Dancing broke out in the streets before the parade even began
Motorcyclists from "Dykes on Bikes" lead the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in Sydney, Australia March 4, 2017. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The parade was led by motorcyclists from the "dykes on bikes" group
Members of the Tiwi Islands aboriginal transgender community attend the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade on March 4, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Members of the Tiwi Islands aborginal transgender community ran a successful crowdfunding campaign to send 30 people from their remote Northern Territory home to the parade for the first time.
A female couple in silver bikinis, one with a unicorn horn, kiss during the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival in Sydney, Australia March 4, 2017. Image copyright Reuters
A participant in a construction outfit marches with the rainbow flag during the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in Sydney, Australia March 4, 2017. Image copyright Reuters
Marchers with political statements on refugees detained by Australia"s government hold signs during the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in Sydney, Australia March 4, 2017. The signs read "freee the refugees" and "let your true colours shine" Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Political statements - including support for detained refugees - harkened back to the parade's original purpose.
A participant in the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade wears horns as he looks back on the parade route in Sydney, Australia March 4, 2017 Image copyright Reuters

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