Mostly in Christian countries, especially Catholic ones, there is a time of celebration that has nothing to do with Christianity at all, and that is Carnival. A sort of mid-Winter feast, often lasting for about two weeks and it ends on the day before the start of Easter Fasting, where alcohol, glee, sex, meat, fish, fatty foods and laughter are forbidden. .It is as if saying, “Go wild now, because the coming forty days will be tough.”
In many parts of the world the Carnival days are marked by two elements, the first being practical jokes, mockery, making fun of each other and ridicule as much as possible, a very popular practice among youth who take advantage that folk wisdom says that during carnival it is strictly forbidden to take offence and get angry because of being mocked, on the contrary as you laugh at others be sure you can laugh at yourself too, and take things with humour. The other element, is that of dressing up in beautiful and fun costumes, plenty of colours, comedy and elegance and you can feel free to pretend being someone else, make fun of authorities or simply be as vain as you want, pretty much everything is allowed as long as nobody is harmed. All is accompanied by plenty of drinks, full-blast calorie food, plenty of alcohol, and as much debauchery and flirting as possible behind does anonymous masks.
Perhaps a clear explanation can be seen in the rituals and traditions of the famous Venitian Carnival, which, on its opening day has a ritualistic display of the Departure of the Angel, and on Mardi Gras closes with the Return of the Angel, and that means that for those two weeks, God, is closing an eye on humanity’s sinful ways and humanity has time to steam out and be rid of Moral obligations, until the Angel returns and all are asked to fall back in line for Easter Fasting.
When, where and how Carnival has started is a mystery lost in the mist of time, of course many ancient pagan and animist traditions foresaw wearing costumes, make pranks and be somewhat morally dissolute for a specific time. Maybe it is connected with Winter coming to an end, or endurance during the cold season, or ancestral mating rituals, we do not know, what we know, since childhood is that carnival is fun, when going about pretending to be a musketeer, a knight, pirate or batman, and come up with hilarious pranks as well as laughing at our teachers and governments until our bellies ache, from laughter and from being filled with sugary and buttery pastries and biscuits.
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