The Carnival it is perhaps one of the most loved parties by children, who can vent their imagination by dressing up as their favorite character, partying with friends and cheering up the days when, due to the school calendar, they also stay at home from school. Carnival 2021 will inevitably be different than usual. In a historical moment in which we are still called to maintain the restrictions caused by the spread of Covid-19, some of the most important events related to the Carnival of the peninsula have been suspended. And even if the charm of the stories of Carnival for children does not lose its enamel at least in the eyes of the little ones, this year it will be complicated to organize songs and dances lightly, as the spirit of this party wants.
Not everyone knows, when it comes to Carnival, that this anniversary is linked to the liturgical celebrations of Easter and therefore has a connection with the religious holiday that is traditionally celebrated between March and April of each year. So how do you calculate the start of the Carnival? Why are the days variable and not fixed? Here’s how to fix the days of Carnival and what correlation they have with those of Lent.
Although in ancient times, according to the dictates of the Christian religion, Carnival was a period to reconcile with God, the pagan origins of this festival are those from which the joyful celebrations and decidedly little devoted to reflection take their cue today. However, the connection with the Catholic religion has never been lost and indeed, the Roman Carnival was an important tradition for the culture of the peninsula until the unification of Italy.
The major celebrations with masks, dances and songs reach their peak on Thursday and Shrove Tuesday, the first and last of the Carnival week respectively. The etymology of the word comes from the Latin carnem levare: it means the habit, linked above all to Lent, of not eating meat on Good Friday and that of preparing a rich and fatty meal the day before Ash Wednesday, to prepare for the weather. of fasting and prayer.
When is Carnival?
Being linked to Easter and a counterpart to Lent, a period of limitations, reflection and sacrifice, Carnival traditionally starts six weeks before Easter. Easter is a mobile feast, it is not linked to a specific date like Christmas. It is calculated starting from the spring full moon, which falls in the period between March 22 and April 25. From the full moon, the first Sunday is taken and on that day the Easter. Going back, five weeks are traditionally devoted to Lent; the sixth that Lent anticipates is the Carnival week.
Carnival is traditionally celebrated for about a week, in a period from Shrove Thursday to Shrove Tuesday, the last day of the anniversary.
When Carnival 2021 is celebrated
According to these calculations, the starting day of Carnival 2021 can be calculated starting from Easter, which this year is celebrated on April 4, 2021; Shrove Thursday is celebrated on February 11, six weeks before Easter. Shrove Tuesday will be February 16, while Ash Wednesday will be celebrated on February 17, with which the period of Lent begins.
Even if 2021 will be a different year than parades, celebrations and parades of allegorical floats, the Carnival precisely because of its mobility on the calendar is not tied to fixed days and often extends even after Ash Wednesday. As the Ambrosian Carnival, which lasts until the Saturday before the Sunday of Lent.