Oh dear, I was doing so well at staying out of this until now!
Mardi Gras (called Carnival or the like here in Switzerland and also I
believe in Italy) has to do with the beginning of lent, the six weeks
which in the catholic world at least were supposed to spent fasting. So
you had a bloody good party just beforehand to help you through. (And in
England they eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, which is Mardi Gras (fat
Tuesday in French) which is Carnival.
So you've still got two excuses for a party and not one - and there's no
denying the pagan origins of either, I suspect, even if the church did a
good job on rationalising Mardi Gras.
Armin Busse wrote: > > Since living in Germany I've noticed that there is a functional > equivalent to Halloween here. But they do it in spring and call it "Mardi > Gras" (ein altes Deutsches Wort ;-). The stores are full of the same > costumes (most of which come from China) and masks. We've even been > invited to masked and costume parties (in March, not October), by other > than SCD associates. > Seems to me about the biggest difference is the time of year and that > one is a bit closer to it's pagan roots than the other. However, it
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