Ok, so let me start out by saying that so many people had no idea that Mardi Gras and the Brazilian festival called Carnaval were essentially celebrating the same thing. What exactly is it celebrating? Well, ask people at the party, and most have no idea where the tradition comes from, just that when it happens, they get to party. Lets take a look at the truth behind the tradition of the largest party on earth.
The first Brazilian Carnaval festival took place in 1723 and it was imported from European traditions. It first started in Greece, and was later adopted by the Roman Catholic Church. The festival was originally a pagan celebration to honor the spirit of overindulgence. When it was adapted into the Catholic Church, as many pagan traditions were, it started the Friday before Ash Wednesday, which begins the 40 days of Lent.
Lent is a Catholic observance that commemorates the 40 days that Jesus fasted in the desert and endured temptation from Satan, as stated in Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13 as well as Luke 4:1-13. It begins on a Wednesday, called Ash Wednesday, and contains a 40 day period (not counting Sundays) of fasting and abstinence. It ends with Good Friday, which is the day Jesus was crucified, and then rolls into Easter that Sunday.
On Ash Wednesday, Catholics are supposed to abstain from eating meat and have one meal. They go to church to receive ashes on their foreheads in the shape of a cross, which lets others know they are observing the holy day and fasting. This actually goes against what is written in Matthew 6:16-18, where it states, "'Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."
So, when we look at what Carnaval actually is, it was a festival of overindulging before the 40 day period of fasting and abstinence was to take place. The Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is actually called FAT TUESDAY, because it was a day for consuming and getting FAT on all that would be forbidden during the 40 days of Lent. Fat Tuesday actually translates in French to Mardi Gras, which is the name of the "carnaval" festival in the US city of New Orleans, a city known for its French roots. Even the word CARNAVAL is derived from the Latin term "carnem levare", which means TAKING AWAY MEAT.
The fact that many who celebrate these festivals today have no idea where the tradition comes from, and that the celebration itself has become a time for great sin and debauchery. The activities at these festivals today do not resemble any kind of Christian tradition but look more like traditions born in Sodom and Gomorrah, as men dress as women, women dress as men, and people dress as animals. Satan has done a great job cutting the people off from their past, so they can't understand the truth of their traditions. This world needs a revival, a reawakening of information lost in time to a generation not allowed to learn about God in school. This leaves that up to the parents, and if the parents are not well versed, then the truth of our traditions becomes lost.
Educate yourself. Read God's word. Learn what his truths are and what he wants for your life. Be a light for others and spread this word. Help wake others up to the truth being lost about the traditions of our world. Thank you and God Bless!