Atualizado: Fev 18
Você sabe de onde surgiu a festa mais popular do Brasil? Pois é, ninguém sabe ao certo. Leia abaixo um pouco sobre as possíveis origens da festividade - e fique em casa neste Carnaval!
Este texto é de nível intermediário.
As palavras grifadas têm explicação ao final do texto. E mesmo assim, não se preocupe se não entender algumas palavras, isso é normal. Take it easy, one step at a time!
The origins of Carnival
Carnival is a popular festivity in Catholic countries. It usually takes place in February or March, always 40 days before Easter, and just before Lent.
The name probably comes from medieval Latin, carnem levare or carnelevarium, which means "to take away the meat", or "to remove the meat", referring to the costume of fasting during Lent, when Roman Catholic tradition says you should avoid meat.
The end of Winter
We must remember that Carnival has European origins. At this time of year, the Northern hemisphere is at the end of Winter and beginning of Spring. The holiday could thus be a celebration of the rebirth of nature - which in ancient times also meant the rebirth of crops.
In Germany, for example, people wear costumes with bells and other noisy accessories, and funny-looking masks, to scare away the evil spirits of Winter. Some people also dress in green, symbolizing the rebirth of green plants - and food! - after Winter.
Another theory says that Carnival is the modern version of the pagan festival of Saturnalia, which took place in ancient Rome in mid-December. It honored Saturn, the god of agriculture. This festival is often related to Christmas because of gift exchanges and a lot of food. But because it also included dancing and some forbidden things, like gambling and drinking, it is also associated with Carnival.
Carnival is also known as Mardi Gras (French for "fat Tuesday") in some countries, like the United States. This is because Carnival Tuesday is the last day before Lent - a day for eating a lot of fat food before the fasting season.
Either way, Carnival has become one of the most celebrated festivities in Brazil, attracting tourists every year (at least before the pandemic) - Rio's Carnival is the largest in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records!
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What we call "Quaresma" in Portuguese, the weeks between Carnival and Easter, when strict Catholics fast, avoiding meat.
Fasting, to fast (verb)
To spend a certain time without eating, by choice. Usually related to religion or health.
A cultivated plant that is grown as food, especially a grain, fruit, or vegetable.
To have religious beliefs other than those of the main world religions. Usually opposed to Christian religions.
Gambling, to gamble (verb)
To play games for money, such as cards and typical casino games.