You might have heard of the carnival in Rio, but did you know that there are carnivals around the world – from Germany to Greece, USA to Italy?
Millie Slavidou explains where Carnival comes from on her blog
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Long before the advent of Christianity, people held celebrations at this time of year. In Germany, they once looked forward to sending Hel, the goddess of the underworld, back down to her abode so they could herald the coming of the spring. In Greece, it was a time to worship the god Dionysus. With the arrival of Christianity, the celebrations continued, but changed in nature, gradually becoming more and more linked to the new religion. The Carnival is held in the period before the start of Lent, and Lent is the time when good Christians were supposed to fast, to abstain from meat [/perfectpullquote]
In UK, we don’t celebrate Carnival, but we do prepare for Lent – that is what Pancake Day is all about, after all. Traditionally, pancakes were made to use up the eggs, fat and butter, that were not to be eaten during Lent!
Take a trip around the world with us, to find out how other countries celebrate Carnival!
If you happened to travel to Cologne or Duesseldorf, or any other German town this weekend, you might think that you have entered another world, because this weekend is Karneval in Germany.
People wander around in fancy dress, hugging and kissing each other, throwing sweeties, and generally having a good time.
On Monday the neighbouring cities of Cologne and Duessldorf vie to present the best Rosenmontags Parade.
Karneval officially starts on 11.11 at 11.11am, and from then on till the weekend before Lent, Germans join in the ‘fifth season’. In the run up to the Karneval weekend, there are lots of concerts, balls and children’s parties,
Cat lived was born in Germany so knows all about Karneval. Where she was born in the south of Germany, it is called ‘Fasching’, and in Switzerland it is known as ‘Fastnacht’.
WHAT IS IT?
How To Catch Sweets
Karneval or Fasching is an activity that many people in Germany celebrate. Basically what they do is they go to a certain place, normally somewhere in their town, and dress up (as anything) and big parade floats come along with people on them that usually throw sweets (called Kamele) and sometimes little gifts.
It is normally sometime in February (the weekend before Lent).
WHY DO THEY DO IT?
Because it is the last celebration before you need to give something up for Lent. (Don’t say you’re going to give up school, it doesn’t work!)
DO OTHER COUNTRIES CELEBRATE IT?
Yes, there are carnival celebrations in Rio, Basel, Venice and New Orleans. It is often called ‘Mardi Gras’, which means ‘Fat Tuesday’!
How to catch sweets pic