Evidence of the existence of carnivals or carnivalesque events dates back nearly to the inception of written history (see, for example, Herodotus). The term's origins are in the Latin carnelevamen, which became the Italian carnevale: caro-, meaning “flesh” and levare, meaning “to put away.” Many Latin countries celebrate Carnevale, a feast and celebration (often attributed to Christian appropriation of pagan rituals) preceding forty days of fasting during the austere Roman Catholic season of Lent. The tension between these two periods was famously captured in the 1559 painting, The Battle between Carnival and Lent, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and the 1504 painting, The Garden of Earthly Delight, by Hieronymus Bosch.


The field of study pertaining to carnivals is characterized by Chris Humphrey as exhibiting a binary ...

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