Posts Tagged ‘carnival’

Pancake Tuesday

 

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Bruegel: “The Fight Between Carnival and Lent”

 

Tomorrow, Tuesday February 8th is Mardi Gras, the festivity that marks the final day of the Carnival Season in the Catholic church, which traditionally runs from the Epiphany to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. The Carnival Season was originally an amalgam of pagan celebrations appropriated and adapted by the church state and celebrated by the hoi polloi and is characterized by excess; excess consumption of food, alcohol, parties and parades.

Participants in the revelry wore-and still wear- masks, originally so they could raise hell in public and mock the church and aristocracy with impunity, and the masquerade balls and parades are still a major part of the celebrations in Carnivals over the world, most noticeable in the Carnivals of Venice, Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans. The fact that you could run amok on this day and get away with it Scott-free is also reflected in another moniker for this day, Shrove Tuesday; “shriving” means confessing one’s sins and gaining absolution, so you have one last bash before lent, shrive, and enter that season guilt free. Continue »