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Carnival is a term broadly referring to a specific kind of public event and entertainment.

Origins and history

The event has its roots in a traditional Christian celebration which marks the beginning of Lent, the period of 40 days before Easter during which no meat is eaten. The word is thus derived from the Latin phrase "carnem levare" (to remove/set aside the meat).

The term became in turn carnevale in Italian, carnival in English, carnaval in Dutch, karnaval in Afrikaans, karneval in some instances in German, etc.). (Also referred to as Mardi Gras[1] in many instances). Most often associated with Christian festivities, notably Lent, though in some cases more broadly used to refer to other kinds street processionals and celebratory events, unrelated to religious celebrations or rituals.

Please note: The Afrikaans term Karnaval also occurs as the name of a South African play by Pieter-Dirk Uys. For more on the play go to the entry on [[Karnaval.

See also Festival

The idea of the carnivalesque

Carnivals in South Africa

eMzantsi Carnival (annually in December, Fish Hoek)

The Cape Minstrel Carnival - also known as the Cape Carnival, the Kaapse Klopse or (historically) the Coon Carnival (annually on 2 January, Cape Town)

Student carnivals

A special form of such activity is the annual festival or parade staged for charity by students at tertiary institutions in the country, some of which have been dubbed a Karnaval or a Carnival, but is more commonly known as a Jool in Afrikaans.

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