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A popular festival of a playful character

 

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Carnival according to our poll on the web

20/03/2006: General House

The celebration of Carnival is one of the more popular activities in the countries of Christian tradition which celebrate it before Lent. In many places, it is celebrated during the three days before Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent according to the Christian calendar.

In certain countries where Carnival is deeply rooted in popular tradition and has lost most of its religious meaning, the celebrations are multiplied throughout the weekends of February and the first weekend of March. Some places are famous for their traditional and spectacular celebrations which attract tourists and folklore devotees.

The type of celebration is often similar in the different places, with parades of decorated floats, masked groups and creatively dressed dancers who also often wear masks depicting real people or fictional characters. The parades are noted for their energetic dancing and people enjoying themselves immensely.

These days Carnival has become a popular festival of a playful character, a public celebration that is expressed by its disguises, parades and street parties.

There are various ways of seeing these manifestations. Some people see them only as acts, others know the meaning of it all while others organise them. Each person will interpret these gestures differently.

Carnival is a regular event on the annual calendar. It is an important cultural phenomenon for certain groups of people, even though it is not found in all cultures.

The survey that we carried out in February was on Carnival. The first thing we noted was that fewer people took part in this survey (only eighty-six responses) compared to other surveys. Someone had already noted that the subject presented little interest in certain parts of the Marist world which know little of Carnival, at least the type of Carnival in Latin America. However, the most frequent opinion was that it has an important cultural dimension (51.2%), while 24.4% see it as an exercise of personal liberty and 23.3% see it has a time for creativity.

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