Peculiarities of the national carnival

Carnival holiday show originates in the tradition of Roman Catholics and includes a mass March in the open air with the mandatory elements of masquerade, circus and dance.

The word “carnival” has Latin roots and, according to one version, comes from the expression “carne vale”, which literally means “farewell to meat”. This value is not surprising, as the carnivals in religious traditions took place on the eve of Great Lent, in the last days, when it was still possible to eat animal food.

Another explanation for the etymology of the word “carnival” is built through the Italian dialects which are “carne levare” means “to remove the meat”, precisely because of the Post.

There is a spiritual version of the appearance of this word in our lexicon. “farewell to the flesh” can have a figurative meaning, i.e. to denote a departure from the old mistakes and update their own “I”.

Anyway, the term confirms that the majority of carnivals in history took place just before Lent, a few weeks before Easter. The sacral meaning of the whole carnival is to fight the living and the dead for the world. To get rid of all supernatural beings and spirits, people wear scary masks, and at the end of the ceremony solemnly bury, drown, or burn an effigy – the symbol of the carnival. Thus, there is the triumph of good over evil and restores cosmic order on earth.

At the same time, there is evidence that a number of carnival traditions from pre-Christian period. For example, the ancient Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Bacchanalia laid the foundations for modern Italian carnival. And they trace their roots to the ancient Greek festival of Dionysus.

The most famous modern tradition of carnivals, in particular masquerade parades, were first described during the middle ages in Italy. Long time Venice film festival was the most famous in the world. Later from Italy holiday traditions spread together with Catholicism in France, Spain and Portugal. Then gradually in Germany and America. Spain and Portugal gave carnival a marathon to their colonies in the Caribbean and Latin America.

In each country carnival activities have their own flavor, its own traditions and its history.

Currently, perhaps the most famous carnival in the world is the Brazilian show in Rio de Janeiro. It is a significant part of modern Brazilian culture.

The Central idea of the whole carnival – this is a demonstration of skills in a truly folk dance for all Brazilians, Samba. In this regard, and the name of the Brazilian festival – “the Sambadrome”. Each Samba school, of whom there are a great many, prepares a huge moving platform, equipped with music speakers and a place to dance. These platforms move along the route of the festival, and participants in colourful costumes dancing and singing.

Millions of tourists from all over the world come to Brazil to witness this brilliant spectacle. For a fee you can even join one of the schools of Samba and also to speak at the parade.

The carnival in Rio de Janeiro is rightly called “the greatest show on earth”.

Modern England notes are important in their religious calendar carnival – Shrove Tuesday. This is the last day of carnival, traditionally called “Day pancakes”. This holiday dates back to the beginning of Lent (Shrovetide), when released all sins. In modern Britain the carnival accompany the “pancake races”, contests eating of pancakes, pancakes and other activities related to the direct symbol of the festival – the pancake.

Takes place in France in two important carnival – in Paris and in nice. Paris holiday dedicated to the Day of Fools, celebrated in France since the sixteenth century. And the carnival in nice is even older, it was first held in 1294. Since becoming an annual event, it attracts millions of tourists.

In 1268 was first held carnival in Venice called Viareggio. A characteristic feature of this festival is the procession of figures that depict famous personalities and characters.

Carnival in Portugal – it truly is a major event with a complex pre-treatment. About 5 weeks men across the country doing large stuffed animals, which are masked head. In the midst of the holiday itself these effigies are burned in a ritual fire.

The most important carnival in the Carnival. By the way, this event takes place not only in Russia but also in many other Christian countries. The week before Lent begins the holiday, the main character of which are pancakes. They symbolize the sun, therefore be sure to prepare a round and ruddy.

This festival is a massive celebration with games, amusements, costume party. The culmination of the carnival is a huge burning of a straw doll that conveys the triumph of virtue over evil.

Canary Islands

In the capital of the largest of the Canary Islands – Santa Cruz de Tenerife – takes place in February important festival, which attracts millions of spectators from around the world. This carnival is called the Carnival of Cadiz. It is such a significant event that in 2011, UNESCO awarded him as the “Heritage”. In addition, confirmation of the popularity of the Carnival of Cadiz is registered in the Guinness Book of records for the largest gathering of people at the outdoor concert. This happened in 1987, when the Cuban singer Celia Cruz and the “Billo’Caracas boys” had 250 thousand people. By the way, this record is not yet beaten.

In Venezuela carnival week takes place before the first Wednesday of Lent and ends during the week, Tuesday. Essentially the people of this country are very noisy and temperamental people. And in the period of carnival, their expression and the fun is doubled. Across the country adorn the streets and cars everywhere music, are a variety of shows, performances, processions of masked and other festive events.


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