Q:

What does Carnival celebrate?

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Quick Answer

Carnival celebrates all sorts of merriments and enjoyments that might be denied in the Lenten season that follows. Carnival festivities historically emphasized feasting, social equality and even rule-breaking, before entering into a Lenten routine of fasting and penitential abstinence.

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What does Carnival celebrate?
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Full Answer

According to History.com, Carnival celebrations take place all over the world, in areas with a large makeup of Catholics, or with a Catholic background. It became established in predominantly Catholic countries and regions because Catholics would indulge in food and celebrations prior to entering Lent, which is an austere time of self-denial. As of 2014, Carnival celebrations have been known to last a few days, and often involve parades, mask-wearing, costumes and colorful spectacles. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is part of the Carnival tradition that is present in the United States, taking place the day before Lent starts.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do people celebrate Mardi Gras?

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    People celebrate Mardi Gras for a variety of reasons that are typically motivated by their religious beliefs. For those who take part in a strict adherence to Lent, Mardi Gras is a way of enjoying excessive quantities of food and drink prior to a period of fasting and denial, with the idea being that the days of excess may make the period of denial easier to tolerate. Lent is a time of fasting and personal denial that is intended to prepare Christians for Easter, which is one of the most important holidays in this religious tradition.

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  • Q:

    What other countries celebrate Mardi Gras?

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    Mardi Gras and Carnival are two similar holidays that celebrate the same period before Lent; these celebrations tend to take place in countries with cultural traditions influenced by Catholic and Christian religious practices. Some of these countries include Cape Verde, Trinidad and Tobago, Germany, Italy, Greece, Denmark, Russia, France and Brazil, which is home to the famous Rio Carnival.

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  • Q:

    What are the famous sayings of Mardi Gras?

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    The phrase "Laissez les bons temps rouler!" which means "let the good times roll" in French, is one of the most popular sayings during Mardi Gras. Other frequently spoken terms include King cake, super krewe and throws.

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  • Q:

    What is a krewe?

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    In the context of Mardi Gras celebrations, a krewe (pronounced 'crew') is an organization of people who are responsible for arranging events such as parades and balls during the Mardi Gras and Carnival season. The term is most commonly applied to such groups in the United States, particularly in New Orleans. Some of New Orleans' oldest and most famous krewes include the Krewe of Zulu, the Krewe of Rex, the Krewe of Endymion, the Mardi Gras Indians and the Krewe of Bacchus. These krewes are responsible for some of the biggest and most famous parades and events in New Orleans' Mardi Gras celebrations.

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