The Origins and Traditions of Carnival and Mardi Gras

TLDR Carnival and Mardi Gras are festive celebrations that originated as a way to prepare for the fasting and repentance of Lent. From the elaborate Venice Carnival to the vibrant celebrations in Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil, these events have become major tourist attractions and cultural traditions around the world.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Carnival and Mardi Gras are religious festivals that are not directly linked to any ancient civilizations, and are intimately tied to the Christian religious calendar.
01:49 The period before Easter, known as Lent, is a time of fasting and repentance in the Christian calendar, and is not directly linked to Carnival celebrations.
03:27 Carnival and Mardi Gras are celebrations that originated as a way to get rid of meat and fatty foods before the start of Lent, with one of the oldest and most elaborate celebrations taking place in Venice, Italy.
05:07 The Venice Carnival was banned in 1797 but was brought back in 1979 and is now a major tourist attraction with over 3 million visitors, featuring elaborate carnival mass and costume competitions; Trinidad and Tobago has the largest carnival celebration in the Caribbean, which originated from a festival started by slaves and is known for its calypso music.
06:45 The steel drum originated in Trinidad and is now the national instrument for the nation; the biggest carnival celebration in the world takes place in Brazil, specifically in Rio de Janeiro at the Samba Drome.
08:25 The first Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans took place in 1699 and has been the biggest celebration in the city for over 200 years, with the biggest celebration now taking place on Bourbon Street.
10:13 The Cajun Mardi Gras celebrations involve a career or run, where participants try to catch a chicken that is later used in a community gumbo, and also include a community hog butchering called a boucherie.
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