They are fascinating, mysterious, and full of history: they are the celebrations that are held every year when the carnival arrives.
There is a period of the year in which almost everything is allowed. We are talking about Carnival, a crazy and ancient festival that has its origins in distant times. Although today it is linked to the Catholic world and Christianity, the recurrence is actually connected to the Saturnalia, the Roman festivals dedicated to the god Saturn and to the Greek Dionysian feasts.
Carnival yesterday and today
During these holiday periods, everyone was allowed to do everything. Laws, commitments, and obligations fell and people indulged in sins of the flesh and gluttony, jokes, and pure entertainment. After those days, however, everything returned according to the principles of rigor and order established by the rules of the company. Yet in that one moment of the year, it was legitimate to go crazy. And to do this in the best possible way, a mask was also used, so as to also eliminate any social distinction.
Over time, these ancient festivals have kept their playful and carefree air, but they have also been charged with a religious meaning that also explains the name carnival. The word, in fact, derives from the Latin carnem levare which translated means to eliminate the meat and refers to the last and rich banquet consumed before starting the fasting period relating to Lent.
Carnival in the world: the craziest celebrations
The ancient origins gave birth to huge and iconic celebrations that are still perpetuated all over the world today. Majestic, scenic and wonderful is the Rio de Janeiro Carnival, the masked party that has become an institution. Millions of people fly to Rio every year to take part in the festivities that take place from afar to 1723.
In Tenerife, on the other hand, what many consider the most spectacular carnival in the world after Rio takes place. Here, too, is the largest of the Canary Islands, people flock from all over the world to join in the celebrations that last two weeks and culminate on Shrove Tuesday.
Another Carnival worthy of mention and visit is that of Cologne, unanimously considered the most important and crazy in all of Germany. Just think that here, the period preceding the carnival is treated in the same way as the fifth season that is inaugurated on 11 November at 11:11 am.
Extremely evocative, visionary, and unconventional is Mardi Gras in New Orleans, an incredible party held in the streets of the voodoo city and which involves millions of people from all over the world. Euphoria, masked balls, songs, floats, and colors: all this is the New Orleans carnival.
And then, of course, one of the most iconic celebrations could not miss him, the Venice carnival. Its origins are very ancient and date back to 1162 when the Serenissima granted the population a short period of fun and parties under the banner of masked balls and music. Centuries have passed and yet the celebrations have never ceased to exist and, indeed, have given rise to one of the most elegant, fascinating, and evocative carnivals in the whole world.