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Carnival: Around the World

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Carnival: Around the World

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  • Feb. 25, 2012
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Carnival: Around the World
An interesting holiday that I do not celebrate is Carnival. Carnival is very popular in Brazil, but is also celebrated in almost every other country. The Carnival celebration in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is considered the biggest party in the world, according the Guinness Book of World Records, 2010. Carnival typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask, and public street party. The streets of Rio de Janeiro fill with people trying to party, celebrate, and have a good time. Music and drinking are also a major part of the festival. It is unknown when Carnival originated, but some believe it may date back to pre-christian times. Carnival stems from the Catholic religion and is a festival that is held directly before lent. In the days before Lent, all rich food and drink had to be disposed of. The consumption of this, in a giant party that involved the whole community, is thought to be the origin of Carnival. The word “Carnival” is believed to originated from the late latin expression carne vale, which translates to “farewell to meat.” This makes sense because Carnival is just a huge festival celebrating the last day that Catholics can consume rich foods such as meats and wine before they must fast for forty days of lent. Carnival is celebrated world wide, but varies from region to region. In Russia, they celebrate Maslenitsa, which is their form of Carnival. It is celebrated the last week before the Great Lent. Maslenitsa is also known as Butter week, Pancake week, or Cheesefare week because dairy products are forbidden during lent. Lent also excludes parties, secular music, dancing and other distractions from the spiritual life. Thus, Maslenitsa represents the last chance to partake of dairy products and those social activities that are not appropriate during the more prayerful, sober and introspective Lenten season. In Peru, Carnival is also celebrated. The celebration takes place in...