Brazilian Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro

Brazilian Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro

Carnival, also known as Carnaval and Carnevale, is a period time before Lent begins. Lent and Carnival are Roman Catholic events, though to some extent Eastern Orthodox Christians and Protestants have celebrations as well. Carnival is held in many countries with the largest celebration in Brazil. Carnival celebrations last from a couple of weeks to several month depending the location. The starting day varies but it almost always ends the day before Lent begins.

Traditionally during Lent, there are no parties, no rich foods, and no meat. Eating, drinking, and partying are done during carnival. Some carnival traditions predate Christianity. Ancient Greek and Roman festivals like Saturnalia had similar customs. These include pageants and wearing masks.

Carnival is celebrated today with parades, parties, masquerade balls, bonfires, show, and music.

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Use the navigation links on the left to find articles, celebrations around the world, crafts, recipes, and more goodies for Carnival.

photo courtesy of Mark Scott Johnson from Sydney, Australia,

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