The Best carnivals of the world

Pagan roots of carnival

Winter festival and at the same time to meet the spring of most peoples. From ancient times it was dedicated to the day of the vernal equinox (March 20-21). Many peoples in this day begins a new year. Slavic holiday of Comodity historians date to the Neolithic times. In Babylon for 12 days were celebrations dedicated to the Sun God Marduk. In Egypt celebrated the fertility goddess ISIS, the Greek goddess Bark, Demeter, and Athena, in Rome for five days after the equinox celebrations were held in honor of the goddess Minerva. With the adoption of Christianity in Europe, the pagan holidays were filled with new content, keeping, however, many archaic features.

In pagan Russia pancake week, starting at the vernal equinox, was the heir of an older Slavic women Comodity associated with the cult leaked in the spring the bear and called from baked Komov from pea flour – prototypes pancakes later. Comoedia partially preserved in Belarus as part of Maslenitsa celebrations. Bear in Russia remains one of the important characters of festivities, however, yielding to the supremacy of the goddess of death and winter, Marin and to the sun God Yarila. As for the oil pancake is a symbol of the sun and of life, he became the chief pancake treat.

Shrove Tuesday in the Christian era

After the adoption of Christianity was that the traditional holiday falls on a Great post. As the festive Ding was contrary to the spirit of lent, Shrove Tuesday had to be shifted at the last predportovuy week, resigned to the fact that spring is now often on a fierce winter cold. In the tradition of the Church carnival week is referred to as cheese or meat-fare – because Sunday comes before the meat. While the streets are buzzing with fun, Church services gradually take sentry character: so, on Wednesday and Friday the Liturgy is not celebrated, read penitential prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian, on Sunday reminded of Adam’s expulsion from Paradise and performed the rite of forgiveness. It is believed that these seven days should be devoted not to binge and overeating, and reconciliation with others, forgiveness of injuries and preparation for a post.

However, the main attributes of a national holiday are feasts and celebrations. Saying goodbye to seven weeks with a non fast food for seven days of the feast people try in advance to eat dairy products, eggs, fish and, of course, main dish, pancakes. Each day of Maslenitsa has its own name and its contents. However, the countdown begins on Saturday – the “small Fitting”. On this day, children gathered in the village of old sandals, trapped on the road returning from the market and beat the sandals of those who are not “lucky Shrove Tuesday” – not stocked with food. Sunday was devoted to the visits, in particular, father-in-law’s name was son-in-law “to eat meat.”

Celebrations of Shrovetide week

Monday is called “meeting”. On this day the father-in-law with mother-in-law daughter-in-law sent to parents on the day and in the evening come to matchmakers to visit. Start pancakes, give the first pancake to the poor in remembrance of the dead. The Scarecrow from straw symbolizing winter (madder with Yarila resigned), with songs carry through the village, set on a snowy mountain and you begin sledding. Tuesday – “merriment”. Happening the bride, arranged booths, home go masks. Wednesday-“gourmet” begins most importantly delicious, and invite the mother-in-law sons-in-law on pancakes. Thursday – “Razgulay”, the fun reaches its climax. This day used to fist fights and the capture of snow town, and the effigy of winter drove through the village on the wheel. Friday (“the evening mother-in-law”) honoring the newlyweds, mother-in-law come to the sons-in-law on pancakes with a return visit. On Saturday (“law parties”) the rest of the young receiving relatives, sisters-in-law sisters-in-law endows.

On forgiveness Sunday, according to Christian tradition, ask forgiveness and thrice kiss as a sign of reconciliation, and then with a clear conscience burn an effigy and escorted carnival – until next year.

Celebrate the arrival of spring in Europe

In Europe the scale of the spring festival in a country depends on which Christian denomination is predominant. The celebration of the equinox and the onset of spring, almost stopped in the early middle ages, resumed with the IX-X centuries under the name “carnival” (one of the most common versions of this name comes from the Latin “carne vale” – “meat, farewell”). The first carnivals started in Italy (Venice carnival and to this day is the most famous, competing only with Brazilian), then in France and in other countries.

The carnival of Venice.

Prior to the beginning of the XVI century the Church belonged to the carnivals tolerable, but then changed its attitude to a negative – although this holiday is celebrated even in the monasteries. While the Protestant clergy were opposed to carnivals is much stronger than Catholic. As a result, in England, in Scandinavia and in parts of Germany with a predominance of Protestants, Shrovetide celebrations are very modest – unlike Catholic countries.

Traditional European carnival longer our carnival. In different countries, it starts at different times. Most often – in the “fat Thursday” in the week preceding the beginning of lent, but holiday bazaars are beginning to work on Saturday. The last day of the carnival, fat Tuesday, is celebrated particularly lush, and the next day, in “ash Wednesday” Catholic lent begins. Like Carnival, the carnival is unthinkable without lavish feasts, folk festivals, games and booths, but the main part of the carnival are theatrical procession.

Despite the overall meaning and content of the carnival, in each country it has its own “flavor”. So, in England, where celebrations are limited to only one “confession Tuesday”, the main event – women’s race with pancakes in the pan. In Brazil, all the focus is on the competition dance schools on the performance of Samba. Lucerne carnival (Switzerland) is unthinkable without fancy costumes for all parties and night processions of musicians. “Mad Monday” Cologne carnival begins with the procession headed Carnival Trinity: the Prince, the Virgin Colony and the Peasant, and in the Rhineland town of Blankenheim this day is a “Procession of the spirits” – mummers of devils and witches. In Eastern Europe the protagonists of the festival are bachelors.

In Poland on the last day of festivities in the village Inns violinists “sell” the single girls. In Serbia bachelor can ride through the village in the pig trough, and on the roof to put the Straw figure of his Grandfather. And for the unbridled joy begin power days of reflection and prayer. Soon Easter…

The opinion of the author may not necessarily reflect those of the editors.

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