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  • Writer's pictureLucas Lima

Five Curiosities About Carnival

Updated: Feb 16

Learn about the history of Brazil's most celebrated festival

Foto: freepik

Carnival is the most celebrated festival in Brazil and is full of interesting facts, from the origin of the term to important figures who exported our culture to the world. Get to know a little more about the history of Brazil's biggest party:

Carnival came through Portuguese colonizers

Did you know that Carnival in Brazil began with the Portuguese colonizers? In 1641, they brought carnival traditions to the country with the "Entrudo," a street party where people had fun throwing flour, water, and eggs at each other.

It has suffered repression

Carnival has gone through difficult times. In 1854, due to police repression, the party declined. It was then that masked balls and costume parties in clubs and theaters gained strength, with the first Carnival ball in Brazil being organized by an Italian actress in Rio de Janeiro in 1840.

Carmen Miranda was a great inspiration for Carnival

Singer and actress Carmen Miranda, born in Portugal and settled in Brazil, was one of the greatest icons of Carnival. It was through her famous fruit hat and the Bahian costume that the Brazilian carnival culture reached Hollywood in the 1940s.

The Venice Carnival is one of the oldest in the world

The festival was created in 1094 by Vitale Falier, a member of one of the most influential families in the city of Venice at the time. Its purpose was, before Lent, to offer the population a period of fun.

Origin of the term

The term "carnival" has its origin in the Latin expression carnem levare, which translates loosely to “to abstain from human flesh.” In the year 590 A.D., Pope Gregory officially recognized Carnival as a festivity. Because it was a pagan celebration, the priest imposed the condition that the following day, Ash Wednesday, be used for the purification of sins committed during the celebration.

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