Happy Carnival!

February 20, 2007

It’s that time of the year again. Lent. I know, I know, you’re all wondering what I’m planning on giving up. Well, I don’t really think I’ll give anything up this Lent. Except for food on Fridays. Because that’s what I do.

But I will give you something. A little vignette of knowledge that I learned today in Latin.

So, Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday / today was known in the older world as “carnival.” In Latin, the original language of the Church and a good part of Europe, this was carnevale.

Now, let’s take this little word apart. ‘Carne-‘ means meat. ‘-vale’ means to say farewell / goodbye. So, ‘carnevale’ means literally to say farewell to meat. Because back in the day, people become vegetarians for 40 days and nights [not including Sundays!] in honor of Jesus, our Lord, Master, and Supreme Ruler of the Universe.

Now we [meaning Catholics] just give up meat on Fridays. And we eat fish instead.

Not very impressive compared to Jesus going forty days and nights straight without food. Now THAT’S a godly feat!

Sigh.

But as I like to say, every days a carnival for a vegetarian. Come join the fun.

;)

Happy Carnevale!

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One Response to “Happy Carnival!”

  1. Dave in the West said

    Interesting. That’s pretty cool.

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