The word CARNIVAL comes from the Late Latin expression carne vale, which means "farewell to meat", signifying that those were the last days when one could eat meat before the fasting of Lent. The Carnival season kicks off with the Epiphany, also known as Twelfth Night, Three Kings' Day and, in the Eastern churches, Theophany. Epiphany, which falls on January 6, 12 days after Christmas, celebrates the visit of the Wise Men bearing gifts for the infant Jesus. In cultures that celebrate Carnival, Epiphany kicks off a series of
parties leading up to Mardi Gras. See http://www.americancatholic.org/features/mardigras/
Mardi Gras is also known as Shrove Tuesday (from "to shrive," or hear confessions),
Pancake Tuesday and Fetter Dienstag. The custom of making pancakes comes from
the need to use up fat, eggs and dairy before the fasting and abstinence of Lent begins.
Mardi Gras is French for Greasy or Fat Tuesday.
Burying the Alleluia
End your celebrations by burying the "Alleluia" as Ash Wednesday begins the Lenten season.
Have you thought about how burying the Alleluia and the Easter egg are connected?
Continue on to Ash Wednesday to learn more.