The carnival is, quite possibly, the pagan festival that most people celebrate and enjoy worldwide. These are days to dance, costumes and to have fun.
The meaning of this dressing up, face painting and celebrate is an act that goes back to ancient times and there is some evidence that the Sumerian people already did this kind of festivities 5,000 years ago.
As we know today, carnival is a continuation of the ancient Saturnalia, the Roman festivities were held in honor of the Saturn God.
Following the spread of Christianity it was then when boom took over and the party acquired the name of Carnival, with the main reason to say goodbye to eat meat and live a licentious life during Lent.
They were three days of celebration in big style, in which almost everything was permitted; there comes one of the reasons to go dressed up, cover the face and safeguarding anonymity. Today, this celebration has been extended one week, beginning in most places Maundy Thursday.
This farewell to meat is done the days before Ash Wednesday, the start date that was given to Lent; a period of forty days (until Sunday) that was spent on abstinence, meditation and fasting, accompanied by prayers, penance and religious spirituality.
The etymology and origin of the word carnival indicates that it comes from the Italian word ‘Carnevale’ and this in turn from the Latin ‘carnem levare’ which means carnem (meat) and levare (remove): remove the meat.
Resource: Alfredo López. Journalist and writer