The name even sounds carnal.

Catherine Delors gives us a glimpse into the day before Lent festivities in Paris just before the Revolution.

Carnival in Paris
Carnival is the time of revelry and celebration that precedes the fast of Lent and culminates with Mardi-Gras, Fat Tuesday. Before the French Revolution it was the occasion for masquerades, and also raucous parades through the streets of Paris, like the promenade du bœuf gras ("fat ox.") A young boy, called "King of the Butchers" with a gilt crown, sword and scepter, rode the ox, at the sound of violins, fifes and drums, surrounded by butchers disguised as women.

Social barriers, good taste and rules of acceptable behavior fell by the wayside for a few days. The Church remonstrated in vain. The great writer Louis-Sebastien Mercier, who must receive credit for giving us the best snapshots of everyday life in Paris at the end of the 18th century, reports on the obscenity of the parades.

With a shake of my head, and a rolling of my eyes, I thank you Catherine!

Dieu le Roy!


elena maria vidal said...

The name sounds "carnal" because it was taken from the Latin word for meat. The days of "carnival" were so called because they were the last days of eating meat before Lent. One can see why the Church instituted Forty Hours to make reparation for the excesses.

de Brantigny........................ said...

It reminds me of Rasputin saying ...to be truly forgiven one must ruly have sinned...

I mus say other than the Fridays where I say the stations I dread Lent. I am reminded of my mortality.

God Bless.

elena maria vidal said...

Oh, dear, I am sure that Rasputin's twisted way of thinking was not what the Church had in mind by instituting Forty Hours. And it is certainly not how I view things! :-0

Have a blessed Lent and we will pray for each other!

de Brantigny........................ said...

I am sure, but that is as far as I will joke on Fat Tuesday.