Monday, March 14

Little Difference #34

Little Difference #34 - Costumes in March

The shops in Luxembourg sell costumes two times a year. In October for Halloween as it is becoming more and more popular here and in March. In March (and the end of February) costumes are sold for Carnival. To be honest, Carnival is a holiday that I'm completely unfamiliar with and only came into contact with here in Luxembourg. Before I explain how the costumes relate to Carnival, let me briefly explain what Carnival is.

This is my general understanding about Carnival after doing a bit of research online: Carnival, a primarily Catholic celebration, is the period of time before lent. It is a celebration and indulgence before meat (or whatever else) is given up for lent. The word carnival is thought to be derived from the Italian word for meat- carne - and means something like, to remove meat
The last day of Carnival is the day before Ash Wednesday. The last day of Carnival is, in some places, called Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras.


Carnival celebrations vary greatly from city to city. Some of the largest celebrations are in Brazil, Italy, Trinidad & Tobago and New Orleans, Louisiana. Although Luxembourg is a Catholic country the Carnival celebrations do not seem very big. There are a few parades found in some of the smaller villages. Most of the communes host a costume party for children, which would explain why costumes are sold. Beignets are sold in the bakeries during the Carnival season.

Is Carnival celebrated where you live? Do tell!

It is quite possible I'm unaware of all the Carnival festivities here in Luxembourg. If you are a local, please fill me in. Thanks!

Sites I used to research Carnival:
Wiki - Carnival
Wiki - Mardi Gras
History of Carnival in Brazil
Venice Carnival

Read all the Little Differences here.


kathi said...

It is really big in Germany, but it is called Fasching there. Mainz has a huge Fasching parade on Rosenmontag, Rose Monday--two days before Ash Wednesday.

Annabel, Mikko, Marcelle and Eric said...

Hi! Long time no news...I know, been very busy planning trips, having guests, dealing with colds and all the fun weather related issues! We were recently invited to a carnival party hosted by German expats. From what they have explained, it is a tradition dating back to when the French overruled German cities in the north. Once a year (coinciding with Mardi Gras, in that period), they would hand over the city keys to the people so that they could enjoy control for about 5 days... At which time, they could be who they wanted to be and celebrate like crazy...The German carnival is held mainly in three cities to the north: Dusseldorf, Koln and I can't remember the third, I want to say Hamburg, but that's not it. Fasching is also a variant of Carnival, but apparently only reserved for the Germans of the south...They get really upset if you say that Fasching and Carnival are the same! All in all, we had a great time discovering this tradition among our German friends!

As for myself, I am getting ready to finally check off Rome from my list! Weee!!!

Hope this finds you well!

This Girl loves to Talk said...

Carnival isnt celebrated in australia but Pancake day is which is on srove, fat tuesday.. people eat pancakes and some restaurants serve pancakes all day... but it isnt strictly observed ( I seem to forget every year and get mad that I forgot to make pancakes for the kids..)

ksjjpalmer said...

I have been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans twice. What a fun party!

Road Trippers said...

We were in Brazil when they were preparing for Carnival. That's the best time because the crowds aren't there but all the shops are full of costumes and masks. Then in Venice we went to a shop where they were hand-painting masks which was amazing. And in New Orleans it's all about the beignets baby! I've been there AFTER Mardi Gras and that is SOME kind of mess.

katy said...

ThisGirl - Through my English friends I've learned about Pancake Day. Last year Pancake Day coincided with our skiing trip and our friend made pancakes for lunch!

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