Carnival roots

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Carnival Roots
The origins of carnival date back to the ancient Greek spring festival in honor of Dionysus, the god of wine. The Romans adopted the celebration with Bacchanalia (feasts in honor ofBacchus, the Roman equivalent to Dionysus), and Saturnalia, where slaves and their masters would exchange clothes in a day of drunken revelry. Saturnalia was later modified by the Roman Catholic Churchinto a festival leading up Ash Wednesday. It quickly evolved into a massive celebration of indulgences - one last gasp of music, food, alcohol, and sex before Lent - before the 40 days of personalreflection, abstinence, and fasting until Easter (not exactly what the Church probably had in mind). 40 days of purging sins, preceded by a week filled with virtually every known sin. The word itselfcomes from Latin, "Carne Vale" or "Farewell to the Flesh".
Brazil - Rio de Janeiro
Rio's lavish carnival is one of the world's most famous. Scores of spectacular floats surrounded by thousands andthousands of dancers, singers, and drummers parade through the enormous Samb�dromo Stadium dressed in elaborate costumes (or, quite often, with absolutely no costume.) It is an epic event televisedaround the world. The origin of Brazil's carnival goes back to a Portuguese pre-lent festivity called "entrudo", a chaotic event where participants threw mud, water, and food at each other in a streetevent that often led to riots (an event quite similar to today's Andean carnival - see Venezuelan section of this booklet). Rio's first masquerade carnival ball (set to polkas and waltzes) was in 1840.Carnival street parades followed a decade later with horse drawn floats and military bands. The sound closely associated with the Brazilian carnival, the samba, wasn't part of carnival until 1917. Thesamba is a mix of Angolan semba, European polka, African batuques, with touches of Cuban habanera and other styles. What we now know as samba is a result of the arrival of black Brazilians (primarily...
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