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Spirituality Carnival - remove the meat, but not farewell

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
The carnival season is upon us - or at least pretty soon. I read one place that it's usually celebrated immediately before Lent, which in most denominations starts on Ash Wednesday (5th March this year) and ends on Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) morning or Easter Eve. Another wiki page talks about Mardi Gras, which I guess is more or less the same as carnival, but this season starts already on/after Epiphany Day (6th January).

I have fond memories of carnivals from my childhood. Well, it's a bit vague. It was a children's party, typically celebrated in a community house. We had the usual children's grub: hot dogs and soda, but the cool part was getting to dress up. (I was in a cowboy phase, but I was outdone by my spoiled friend whose aunt gave him a really nice cowboy costume.) And then we had balloons - really big balloons. That said, I think my childhood carnivals were probably somewhat pathetic compared to the Brazilian version. I guess 500 years of Lutheranism did left its mark.The Catholics have all the fun.

It wasn't until a few years ago I discovered a whole new dimension to carnival. Or at least something that put it in a new light. It was said that one possible meaning of the word carnival comes from the late Latin carne vale which means "farewell to the meat/flesh". However, that may be a folk etymology, meaning it's a popular but mistaken meaning. One of two other possible origins is from the Italian carne levare or similar, meaning "to remove meat", since they didn't eat meat during Lent. (The other possible origin has to do with a Roman festival in the honour of Isis. Sounds unlikely! :) )

Well, I guess you all knew this stuff. Anyway, anyone going to a carnival party? The etymology of the word may be just the small-talk topic you were looking for.


Peacefully Vegan and Proud
Northern IL
That is interesting, I was told by my Baptist Faith churches that Carnivals are evil and we should avoid them but, when i left that Faith all together a few years ago, I started to not want to be dictated too.. I never knew this but, I will most likely will find one next year…