By Leandro Neumann Ciuffo from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Na corte da rainha Njinga
Carnival season usually begins in February, four weeks before Easter Sunday. The days-long parties mix both pagan and Catholic traditions and culminate the night before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. Here is a list of how different destinations celebrate during carnival season.
The Venice Carnival is an explosive celebration that starts before Lent and features vibrant parades, chaotic street parties, circus-like performances, and flamboyant masquerade costumes with elaborate masks.
“Fat Tuesday,” also know as Mardi Gras is often the most raucous of the celebrations. In the United States especially, Mardi Gras has become an immensely popular celebration in New Orleans, due to the city’s French Catholic origins. The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are gold, green and purple, which symbolize power, faith and justice respectively.
Did you know? In Germany and the Netherlands, the carnival is traditionally kicked off on 11/11 (sometimes at 11:11am) as an homage to the celebrations that took place before the former, longer Advent season.
Carnival celebrations date back to the ancient Romans and Greeks, who partied hard to celebrate the arrival of spring.
Almost 5 million people celebrate carnival in Rio de Janeiro, making it the largest carnival celebration in the world.
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