WHEN IT COMES TO CARNIVAL SEASON, masks tend to steal the spotlight. From the eerie Venetian balls, to the savage Brazilian parades, Carnival masquerading has been popularized the world over in both its religious and secular forms.
Traditionally a season of festivities occurring right before lent, Carnival holds Christianity-linked etymology with greater reference to meat-eating than masquerading. From Latin carne vale or "farewell to meat" to Italian carne levare "to remove meat", the celebrations prompt the beginning of fasting and abstinence from carnivorous and other rich foods until Easter.
Other etymology point to Carnival's links with carrus navalis, "car" or "ship" hailing from pagan pageantry. Denmark's Aalborg Carnival, for example, closely maintains this link, with Carrus Navalis as a parade boat ushered in by masked dancers, and succeeded by a symbolic sowing of seeds.
Whether in reference to pagan or Christian religion, with masks or with soon-to-be-disposed-of meat, Carnival is celebrated with revelry just the same. While I'm personally accustomed to masquerading later on in Halloween, and to regularly trading meat for healthier options anyway, with all this meat on my mind, I sure wouldn't mind a steak tartare this weekend.
Meat charts from fr.wikipedia.org www.gutenberg.org www.diarioelatlantico.com vintageprintable.com www.allposters.com