Europe carnival festivals are the major winter/spring events throughout Europe. The carnival is a tradition that permeates the entire Christian world. Colorful Europe carnival festivals take place in Rome, Munich, Paris, Cologne, Rio de Janerio, Buenos-Aires, Montevideo and Nice.
The word carnival comes from the Latin word - carnelevarium, which means 'putting away the flesh'. Carn meant flesh, and leavare meant to remove. But levare, could also mean to raise, perhaps the Brazilians wanted to interpret it as raising a gala storm. Brazil was the first country to play host to the carnival. Carnival is a festival of revelry and fun observed in many countries around the world, though its actual form varies from country to country. The exact reason behind the carnival is not known but it appears the carnival had its genesis in a human necessity - that of giving itself a complete holiday from the mundane cares and problems of the daily world.
In ancient Rome, the Royal house used to observe the 17th of February in honour of Fanno-the God shepherds and their flock. These feasts were initiated with animal sacrifices and the sacrificial meat was offered to the wolves, which attacked the flock. It is for this reason that, some believe, the carnival used to be associated with the legendary She-wolf, which brought up the two children Romulo and Remo - founders of the city of Rome. Under the Romans then, the carnival continued more as a religious occasion. With the birth of Christianity, the church began to curb many of the liberties, which were being taken during these carnivals. Particularly mentionable is the unfair advantage that participants took by wearing masks during these celebrations.
Carnival is in essence a spring festival, like holi. The Romans celebrated the Saturnalia spectacularly with floats, tableaux, clowns, vamps, contortionists and pranksters. Before then, the Greeks had a festival in honour of Kronas, one of the Titans and the father of Zeus. With the advent of Christianity, notwithstanding the Church's fierce opposition, Latin Europe began to celebrate three days of ribaldry in anticipation of forty days of sackcloth and abstention-entrudo, as the Portuguese say.
During Europe carnival festivals, expect the air to be filled with perfume of happiness, the roads to be jam-packed with fun and the hearts of the people to be filled with nothing but enjoyment and enjoyment and enjoyment. These are the days of continuous music, dance and fun in Europe.
Venice is especially noted for the colorful carnival festivals. And the Venice Carnival is certainly not one without a long tradition behind it. From February 7th to 24th, during the Venice Carnival, many musical, acrobatics and dance performances from the Est animate San Marco's square, the theatres and the Venetian "campi", but also Lido, Mestre and Riviera del Brenta.
The joy returns every year for less than a week-five days- in Brazil, before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent which was once a dreary season of penance and abstinence - 40 long week days preceding Easter Sunday.
For many people the Notting Hill Carnival has become a celebration and reflection of London's uniquely multicultural make-up. It still retains a strong Caribbean flavour, with colourful costumes and the pulsing sounds of calypso and soca. But it now has everything from hip hop, house and salsa to West African drumming, costumed masquerade bands, floats, steel bands, static sound systems, and two enormous live stages.
A writer assigned the task of reporting on Carnival in Rio de Janeiro was stunned at the way the carnival was celebrated. Men, women, boys and girls went their own way, did their own thing, remorselessly, unaccountably - without compunctions. And at the end of it, no questions were asked and no lies told. The faveleiros returned to their hovels in the slums, the fazendiros to their gorgeous ranches and at the samba clubs the preparations started afresh for the next year's processions, balls and street dances.
Gorging before fasting has been a custom in Christian communities during the Europe carnival festivals. A 1000-egg omelette is eaten on Friday before Lent at Ponti in Italy. Eggs and butter were consumed in large quantities on Shrove Tuesday, popularly known as Pancake Day in Britain and Mardi Gras which means Fat Tuesday, in France. The Germans celebrated the Fastnacht or Eve of Fasting. Some of the pre-Lenten gorging festivals last for as much as a fortnight. In Portugal, the pre-carnival celebrations are known as assaltos, when masked groups "raid" their friends' houses and are treated to the best of food and beverages, amid much singing and dancing.