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February 2011

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Carnivals From Around the World

Feb 8, 2011  |   Contributor: Lena Katz

The concept of Carnival originated long before Christian times, with the celebration of Bacchanal and ancient Mesopotamian cultural festivals. After the advent of Christianity, Carnival became associated with the wild days leading up to Lent. Knowing that Ash Wednesday marked 40 days of being one one’s best behavior, the 3 days before Ash Wednesday were when people lived out their sinful impulses. According to some historians, Carnival traditions such as dressing in disguises and wearing masks were carried over from pagan times. Today, although Carnivals around the world vary in length, look and types of celebration, a commonality of traditions and symbols tie them together. In rural New Orleans, each small town in a parish will celebrate on a different weekend day, so that townspeople... Read More

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