Monday, February 04, 2008


This Tuesday marks another Carnival/Mardi Gras, whatever you want to call it. Being the day before Lent starts (on Ash Wednesday), it is the day to indulge and abuse anything you don't want to/can't do during Lent. This is, of course, absolute nonsense, but popular culture seems to think so.

There isn't a wide-spread tradition of festivities over here, except if you're a kid - then you'll probably be dressed as Spider-Man and parading the streets with your school mates. If you're not a kid, you can either:
a) forget it's Carnival altogether and enjoy the fact that you don't have to go to work because it's a holiday;
b) pretend you're still a kid, dress-up in a costume and go to a party;
c) join in on celebrations in some towns where there are parades and parties;
d) go in search of older, more bizarre traditions that you can find in small villages where the day is still called "Entrudo" and the fun often consists in throwing all kinds of fluids on top of each other.

Anyway, when we think of Carnival we think of Brazil. Instead of going down there and see the "scene", I had Brazil come to me in the form of two visitors, who were actually running from the Carnival. It seems that there is a life outside (before and after) Carnival in Brazil and also that it can be Carnival everywhere and everyday when people are genuinely open-hearted and fun.

***song of the day might as well be Natalie Merchant's Carnival (loooooove it)


SleekPelt said...

I love the new design, Devil Mood! As for Carnival, I guess these days I would be most likely to choose an option that would involve the kids.

phish said...

there's a carnival on in goa, india (one of the oldest portuguese colonies in the world) as well. though not quite as saucy as the one in rio. tried to get some time off so that i could get there and behave like a fool for a few days.


kimananda said...

I miss Carnival...only because I'd really really like the day off of work. They have it here, too, but as with PT, it's basically a kid dress-up day, and they seem to do it on the Sunday (out of school) and the Monday (in school) instead of Tuesday, if I'm reading the newspapers correctly.

Ps said...

The papers here are carrying reports of the carnival, sambadrome and the awesomely toned women. can only imagine how it must be to be in the midst of it all.

Niall said... what ever you like...but here in rainy England it's PANCAKE DAY!!..and if you ever get the chance...check out 'Shrovetide Football' celebrated in Ashbourne Derbyshire..

missalister said...

Thank you for that! First off, a qualification: I'm part of the USA’s embarrassment, its dismal educational stats, in my lack of historical knowledge. The other day I was reading a NY Times article regarding the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans returning to its original route for the first time since Katrina, and how the Mid-City residents are thrilled and have put up signs that have to do with Endymion on their properties along the route. So when I saw Entrudo in your post it was Aha! which led to an internet search bringing the traditions’ histories and myths together. So your post inspired me to seek more education today! :)

Devil Mood said...

Sleekpelt: Thank you! Instead of "kids" I read "kiss", there must be sth wrong with me :D

Phish: I'm glad the portuguese invasion served for something fun, however irrelevant that may be. Shame you couldn't go :(

Kim: PT is the place to be if you want many days off work haha Over here, kids have holidays too so they did their parades last week at school.

PS: Some love it, some hate it. The excesses are enormous and many times in a very bad way. It's not all glitter and laughs.

Niall: Is Pancake day every 4th of February or is it on Mardi Gras every year?

MissAlister: That's wonderful and one can't criticize you for not being interested! So is the Endymion related to Entrudo?
From what I read the Entrudo was a very violent celebration over here and then it was taken to the various colonies, originating the brazilian Carnival. But the 1st Carnival was the one in Venice, it seems.

Violet said...

so what was your choice? :)
I totally ignore carnival usually, and just enjoy the holiday.
it used to be fun as a kid though.

Miss Iyer said...

Wow wot fun! I love carnivals too. We used to have lil make-believe carnivals here too :P As in.. in a much lesser gravity than the real ones. I enjoyed them nonetheless.
But the child in me seems to have gone. I don't even keep track of the dates of those make-believe carnivals anymore :-/

Devil Mood said...

Violet: My choice was e) (on the last paragraph). none of the above hehe

Miss Iyer: I only know the date because it's a national holiday. Otherwise, I wouldn't pay much attention nowadays neither.

missalister said...

Thanks for giving me a break regarding the education thing! I’m much more receptive to learning now, thankfully... The Entrudo to Endymion relation I was thinking of was just the relgious aspect, the big blow-out event before the 40-day self-denial of Lent. And actually it’s the Krewe of Endymion which is the largest of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras parades. Oh hey! and I found out the Portuguese colony in Goa starts their party on Sabato Gordo, Fat Saturday, which was similar to New Orleans’ Fat Tuesday. Fun, fun!

Devil Mood said...

MissAlister: Hey, you're teaching me things too! I guess every day before Carnival is Gordo(Fat), usually we only refer to Sunday as being gordo.

I'm reading Endymion is a greek myth. But yes you're right, it's the party before the scarcity of the Lent.