The festival of Mardi Gras in Haiti

Carnival in Haiti is the most popular festival that unites an explosion of music, food, dance and costume. The festival originated with Italian Catholics in Europe, later spread to the French and Spanish, who brought the pre-Lenten tradition when they settled (and brought slaves to) Haiti, Trinidad, Dominica, Martinique, and other islands. The word Carnival itself means "farewell to the flesh," that refers to the former Catholic practice of abstaining from red meat from Ash Wednesday until Easter.

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The Caribbean's carnivals all have several common themes, many were originated from Trinidad and Tobago Carnival because it is believed that the first "modern" Caribbean Carnival was originated in Trinidad and Tobago in the late 18th century, when French émigrés brought the Masquerade tradition with them, although the celebrations of 'Fat Tuesday' were taking place at least a century ago. The popular practices of Mardi Gras costume include wearing masks, capuchons, and costumes, drinking alcohol, dancing, overturning social conventions, feasting, begging, whipping, etc.

The festival of Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday takes over the cities in Haiti and it leads up to Lent with mass frenzy and excitement. Mardi Gras in New Orleans has many Caribbean roots. Caribbean Carnival is the creative and artistic expression of dispossessed people; it has been transported to North America and Europe through the migration of Caribbean peoples. One good example of this transportation is Notting Hill Carnival in Ladbroke Grove, London. Each year thousands of people visit Haiti to celebrate 3 days of carnival and plenty of pre-carnival festivities. Carnival is a season that everyone should experience at least once in their lives!

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