Carnaval is an official Mexican holiday that kicks off a five-day celebration of the libido before the Catholic lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Beginning the weekend before Lent, Carnaval is celebrated exuberantly with parades, floats, costumes, music and dancing in the streets. Carnaval is equivalent to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Carnaval Dates:
Feb 15 - 20, 2008


History

The festival of Carnaval is celebrated as a last indulgence of carnal pleasures that Catholics must give up for 40 days of fasting during Lent, from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. In fact, the word Carnaval is derived from Latin, meaning take away or goodbye to flesh, and strict Catholics will give up meat eating during Lent.

Carnaval is officially celebrated for 5 days, leading up to Ash Wednesday, with the most vigorous celebration taking place over the one weekend in Mexico. The wearing of masks during Carnaval is said to be a pagan practice as protection from evil spirits, but most likely evolved as a way to participate fully in the celebration with some anonymity.

Bring the family and enjoy a traditional picnic on the sidewalk as colorful processions fill the streets in the city on the Baja Peninsula.


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5 de Mayo y Malecón La Paz, B.C.S. Mexico Tel/Fax: 01152 (612) 122-0077