We drink to life

We drink to life: Purim & Carnival

A Christian voice

Short version

Magnificent, princely floats from Düsseldorf to Mainz, scantily clad young women dancing Samba in Rio, distinguished masks in Venice, the Fool’s Jump in Rottweil, primitive larvae in Lucerne – these are images that come to mind when we hear the word „Carnival”. The fact that „Carnival“ originally refers to the days before the start of the pre-Easter period of Lent in Christianity is probably increasingly less known today.

Traditionally, Christians abstained from eating meat during the forty days before Easter and also restricted their lives in other ways. At Carnival, they said „goodbye to meat“ („carne vale„). Here, however, the world was also allowed to be turned upside down. Mockery of the rulers, dancing, fatty foods and extensive alcohol consumption were all part of it. Terms such as the Rhenish „Fastelovend“ („almost-evening„) or „Fastnacht“ remind us that Carnival represents a kind of threshold or transition between everyday life and the time preparing for the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. But the „great days“ also hold a utopian moment: that life, with its often harsh limitations and injustices, is not everything….

Long version

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#Jewish & Christian – Closer than you think?!

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