What Does Carnival Celebrate?

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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.