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The Carnival is a popular festival which is held in the countries of Christian tradition.

The Carnival is an annual, joyful, celebration that occurs during carnestolendas, in the three days preceding the Ash Wednesday and, therefore, a lent.

The word comes from the Latin expression carnem levare, 'remove meat', alluding to the prohibition of meat the forty Lentendays, during which should be not consumed no meat or animal fat. The Carnestolendas term comes from the latin "dominica to meat tollendas" (the Sunday before removing the meat).

According to the religious calendar, the "Carnival" period starts on January 6, Epiphany (date which marks the end of the Christmas holidays), and continues until Ash Wednesday.

The Carnival has its origin possibly inpagan festivals, such as the ox Apis and Isis in Egypt, Greek Dionysiac festivals and the Bacchanalia, Lupercalia and Roman Saturnalia or the mistletoe Celtic festivals. The ancient Romans were in mid-February, "Lupercalia" (festivals held in honor of the God Pan).

It is a public celebration that takes place immediately before the Christian lent, with variable date (from late January untilearly March depending on the year), and that combines some elements like costumes, parades, and parties in the street.

By extension are named some similar holidays at any time of the year. Despite the great differences that its celebration showcases in the world, their common characteristic is the be a period of permissiveness and a lack of control.

The origin of the celebration seems likely ofpagan celebrations, as which they performed in honor of Bacchus, the God of wine, the Saturnalia and the Roman Lupercalia, or that were performed in honour of the ox Apis in Egypt.

According to some historians, the origins of this festival goes back to the ancient Sumerian and Egypt, for more than 5,000 years, with very similar celebrations at the time of the Roman Empire, from where expandedthe custom in Europe, being taken to the Americas by Spanish and Portuguese sailors from the 15th century.

The Carnival is primarily associated with Catholicism, and to a lesser extent Eastern Orthodox Christians; the Protestant cultures usually does not celebrate Carnival or have modified traditions, such as the Danish Carnival.

Is the world's largest Carnival celebration in Rio de Janeiro,but many other countries have important celebrations like which takes place in Italy, in the Carnival of Venice, with the Carnival of Barranquilla Colombia; in Spain with the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the Carnaval de Cádiz, which are also unique carnivals Spanish to have a Fiesta of international tourist interest category.

The Carnival of the Uruguay is the longest in the world,because it starts at the end of January and ends in the first weeks of March. Its capital, Montevideo, was declared in 2009 Ibero-American Capital of Carnival.

The Bolivian Carnival, caporales and morenadas, should its current heyday in Europe due to recent migration. As the Carnival in Veracruz, in Mexico.

A very colorful Carnival celebration is Dominican Republic, where varied bright andnoisy and representative of Dominican folcklor costumes characters parade.

The ethnologists found at the Carnival surviving elements of ancient feasts and cultures, as the feast of winter (Saturnalia), Greek and Roman Dionysiac celebrations (Bacchanalia), pre-Hispanic Andean festivals and African-American cultures.

The feast of Carnival in Guatemala

The arrival of the Spaniards in ourlands brings the fiestas de carnestolenda, although they were organized as a complement to a celebration of a religious and commercial nature, also offered recreation and joy to the human spirit. However, the Carnival is a party that has no other object than the fun par excellence, and is the party, if not more cheerful, at least the most joyous and fun that it has been known, since it brings the...
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