What is Carnival?!!
To understand us and our purpose, you first have to understand what Carnival is.
To many, Carnival is freedom.
Carnival is an annual festival of celebration. A celebration of life and its earthly pleasures.
Held in the Catholic region of Italy the event was originally called Carneval meaning “to put away meat”. This Italian festival held right before Lent was celebrated through the consumption of rich foods, often meat, and excessive drinking. Carnival spread throughout Europe’s Catholic nations. Countries like France, Spain, and Portugal soon began to adopt the Carneval custom.
As the call for exploration, colonization, and empire building caught wind, Carnival celebrations quickly spread wherever the Spanish, French, and Portuguese colonized around the world. This includes the Americas, Africa, and the Caribbean Islands. As colonization began, untouched nations and cultures were influenced by this European practice.
Carnival as we know it has become an amalgamation of the European practice along with a heavy influence of Local and Indigenous practices. As a result, African culture is a standout among various Carnivals. Using the influence of the African culture such as – the traditions of village parades, feathered headpieces, handmade fabric costumes, sculptured masks, bones and sticks as props – these early practices are present today. Some other familiar African influences are stilt walkers (moko jumbi), puppets, African drums and percussion heavy music. Traditions such as Junkanoo, J’ouvert, King Momo, and Kadooment are all born of this history.
Carnival today has spread to every corner of the earth and is used as a vehicle to retain those cultural traditions. The origins of Carnival are still seen in Venice, Italy with the feasts, balls, and extravagant masks, while the tradition of African ingenuity is regarded in many nations such as Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada.
The evolution of Carnival has not passed. Carnival continues to spread and is celebrated in various ways. The beloved festival of Carnival reaches far and wide. Out east in Japan and Indonesia. West in Canada and Argentina. No matter how Carnival evolves into a much buzzed about street party, what will always remain is the fusion of street theater, music, costume, artistry, and dance.
Who/What is Carnival Calendar??!
We are your Global Carnival Ambassador. Our purpose is to recognize, showcase and promote the culture of Carnival around the world.
Carnival is a universal experience. It is everywhere. Looking into Carnival Calendar, you’ll find there many cultural similarities among each Carnival destination. Though we’ve come to find no two Carnival experiences are exactly the same. This is what makes Carnival special.
We hope you will begin to explore your own celebration of life and its earthly pleasures by going (as a participant or spectator) to one, three, five or more Carnival destinations. After having an amazing Carnival experience, we are certain you too will consider yourself a Carnival Ambassador!
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