"Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year's ill,
And prayer to purify the new year's will."
Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet's: February
On February 14th this year (this year it coincidentally starts on Valentine's day indeed) the festivities of Carnival begin in many countries. These festivities go on until forthcoming Wednesday 12PM. The origin of Carnival has to do with the Roman Catholic fasting, that begins 40 days before Easter and ends with Easter. In this period Roman Catholics are not allowed to drink alcohol, eat sweets and even eat meat. That's where the word Carnival originally comes from: In Roman language Carne Vale
means: The Time Without Meat
. This fasting time starts on the ash Wednesday
. Until that time the believers think they'd better feast until the fasting begins and they can't party anymore. Nowadays many people just celebrate Carnival without thinking about fasting anymore.
Carnival typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party. People often dress up as masked persons during the celebrations, which is an overturning of the normal things of every day life. Do you celebrate Carnaval or something that equals it in your country? Read more...