Have you ever wondered about the greatest party celebrated in more than 50 countries around the world? Carnival is celebrated from Samba Blocos in Brazil to Masked Balls in Italy.
The origin of Carnival dates back to ancient Egypt which started as the Pagan Festival and has grown to become the largest festival and party celebrated this day. Egyptians celebrated Pagan to mark the beginning of spring season and ushering out winter. This was adopted by Ancient Greeks shortly after Egypt was conquered by Alexander the Great.
The Romans learned about the festival from the Greeks and later was given a Christian meaning to establish it as the festival of “Carne Vale”. In Latin, carne means meat and vale mean farewell. According to the Catholic calendar, ‘carne vale’ is a feast before the fast of Lent
The Romans assimilated the festival from the Greeks, and it was later superimposed with Christian meaning to become the festival of “Carne Vale”. The word, “carne” means “meat” in Latin and “vale”, means “farewell”. In Italy during the eighteenth century, people who prepared for Lent would throw grand fancy dress parties and eat excessively before commencing the fast.
The widespread celebration of Carnival, however, began with the spread of Christianity throughout continental Europe and it was introduced massively to the world after Colonization. Portuguese colonists approached shores of Brazil with the Lent culture where almost 4 million African slaves resided. In time, the European and African culture was blended to give birth to Brazil’s World Famous Carnival.
The Carnival has now been associated with a business along with its festive charm. The colourful street parties show a celebration of mixed heritage in Brazil. In 2016, the city of Rio was visited by 1.1 million tourists just for the carnival which gained $900 million to the economy of the city.
Further, the festival of Lent was taken to the Caribbean island of Trinidad by French colonists. The slaves were excluded from the celebrations and therefore they made their own parties that mocked the French. The festival is now an essential part of Trinidad’s carnival. However, the carnival is celebrated only in the southern state of Goa with parades in India which were ruled by Portuguese colonists for four hundred years. In the American city of New Orleans, the carnival is called Mardi Gras that contributes to 2% of the GDP.
Even though Carnival began as a celebration of the spring season, it is now the greatest party witnessed by the world. This global phenomenon and celebration hold economic value worth of billions of dollars coming from millions of revelers in the world.