Carnival is a holiday that is celebrated in many countries of the world. This celebration takes place before Christian Lent. It is a way of celebrating before entering the phase of recollection and spirituality associated with Lent. Despite this, the church does not recognize carnival as a religious celebration.
The celebration of carnival in the world is mostly associated with Catholic countries. For the latter, by the dates that are associated with Lent it is recognized that there is a link with religious fervor.
Carnival in Venezuela has a very important connotation both religiously and popularly.
What are carnivals?
They are the celebrations that take place before the beginning of Lent and seek to be an escape valve to society. It is characterized by dances, costumes, floats and parades.
The date of carnivals usually varies between the end of February and the beginning of March. This year 2022 the dates of carnivals are February 28 and March 1, 2022.
It is characterized by being a date of moral relaxation and euphoria. This contrasts with the restrictions and modesty of the Christian religion. That is why it is said to be a way of dispersing energy before the recollection period of the preparation for Easter. This 40-day preparation is conducive to celebrating the resurrection of Jesus during Holy Week. Both Lent and Holy Week are recognized by the church.
The carnival to Lent and Holy Week comes to be the equivalent of an exaggerated banquet that a person eats before starting a diet. Carnival is the escape before restriction.
The ancient origin of carnival
Many researchers and historians consider Carnival to be the Christian church’s way of absorbing pagan festivals in honor of Bacchus. In ancient times the so-called Bacchanals were celebrated. The bacchanals were the feasts to honor Bacchus, the god of wine in Roman mythology. Bacchus is the Roman version of Dionysus, the god of wine in Greek mythology.
All pagan festivals have their origin in the need for a day of “relief” before the strict rules of society. These even had different names according to the time and civilization in which they are presented: Rome at different times, Egypt, Sumer, among others.
Carnival means “to abandon the flesh” in Latin and demonstrates the way it connects with Christian Lent. It is a form of relief before the beginning of Lent. It is part of the tradition of the people before immersing itself in the relevant religious reflection.
Carnival is the opportunity to rest and release energy before entering a very deep spiritual process.
The modern celebration of carnival
Modern carnival is a celebration full of fun and relaxation. The relaxation of common morality is evident in many of the carnival traditions. In carnivals many times the costumes have erotic touches or allow what is not allowed at any other time of the year.
Many men dress up as women, women go topless to the street, or some women show their breasts in exchange for necklaces. These manifestations of joy and subversion of moral boundaries are generally not allowed during the year and are normal during carnival.
Even today the word carnival is used to designate festivities that are not located in the period before Lent.
That is why today we will discover the way in which carnival is celebrated in different parts of the world. We will start with the largest carnival celebration in the world, the Rio de Janeiro Carnival.
Rio de Janeiro, the most famous in the world
This carnival is the most famous in the world. It has become a global icon of carnival and tourism for Brazil. Crowds gather in the streets of Rio de Janeiro to see the floats at the Sambadrome. From all over the world they come to Brazil to witness this massive event.
This event is organized by the Association of Samba City Schools of Rio de Janeiro. This entity works all year round to be able to carry out this event.
Each of the schools is an organization that is responsible for organizing each of the group. The financing of the parades comes from several sources:
- Financial aid from the mayor’s office of Rio de Janeiro.
- Resources from television broadcasting rights.
- Income from the sale of Tickets of the Sambadrome.
- Income from public and private sponsors.
In this way the schools get the money to make the lavish costumes and floats to delight visitors. In addition, many of these schools maintain social organizations within their communities.
This event takes place in the so-called Sambadrome, a building built in 1984 when the popularity of the event made the investment necessary. Its full name is Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí.
Each school has 85 minutes inside the Sambadrome to present its lavish parade. These schools compete for the title of carnival champion. This gives them prestige and makes it easier for them to capture resources for sponsorships.
Entrance to the Sambadrome is expensive and perhaps inaccessible to low-income visitors. But the carnival of Rio leaves no one out. On the days of rehearsals before the carnival people can enter for free and enjoy the show.
Carnival is a spectacle for everyone.
Carnival is an opportunity for joy and leaving social conventions behind for a few days. We can see different expressions of carnival, but its meaning everywhere is the same. Take a break from rigorous social and religious rules to live life. It is an opportunity for escape before entering a process of deep reflection.
Gustavo Mirabal has been able to enjoy the carnival shows in Venezuela, Brazil, Spain and the United States. In all of them he has been able to see the joy of people and get out of social conventions without breaking social coexistence.
This year enjoy the carnival and unleash your fun with your friends or family. Take advantage of the banquet before the diet. Enjoy today and reflect later so you can do your bit to make this world a better world.