What Does Carnival Celebrate?


Carnival celebrates all sorts of merriments and enjoyments that might be denied in the Lenten season that follows. Carnival festivities historically emphasized feasting, social equality and even rule-breaking, before entering into a Lenten routine of fasting and penitential abstinence.

According to History.com, Carnival celebrations take place all over the world, in areas with a large makeup of Catholics, or with a Catholic background. It became established in predominantly Catholic countries and regions because Catholics would indulge in food and celebrations prior to entering Lent, which is an austere time of self-denial. As of 2014, Carnival celebrations have been known to last a few days, and often involve parades, mask-wearing, costumes and colorful spectacles. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is part of the Carnival tradition that is present in the United States, taking place the day before Lent starts.