Carnival season is upon us. Thank goodness.
Carnevale is that quintessential celebration, of getting through winter to welcome the promise of spring and fertility. A rite of passage from dark to light.
From Latin “carnelevare’, the ‘removal of meat’, all the food that had survived the winter had to be eaten before it went off. So it is a time of gorging and excessiveness. Of throwing out the rule book. Experimenting with perspectives and personas through masks and disguise. Allowing freedom for social satire and parody, of mocking ourselves and the system. A big party with ‘depictions of disease and gleeful death: and a general reversal of everyday rules and norms’.
A time of carefreeness. Of bringing together community.
We need that.
We need ceremony
It is a conscious connection with ourselves. In the moment we’re in. It’s an acknowledgement of an event, a transition in our lives, usually marking a beginning or a conclusion. An acknowledgement of past, present or future.
Ceremonies are integral to our human story and transformation. All cultures use nature based ceremonies (even if now adapted) to honour significant life milestones, and to mark season or recurrent events or social customs.
Ceremony lifts up in crisis and events. It help us make sense of what is happening and makes such times sacred. When we engage in ceremony, we see our part in the bigger picture. We step in the flow of the human nature connection, and tune into its inherent wisdom. Rather than just surviving life, managing it, getting through it, we celebrate it and are transformed by it.
Throw yourself in
Whether you are partaking in Carnevale or not, it is a beautiful point of reflection. Of how we celebrate and commemorate. And how we challenge ourselves and authority or not. Whether we are willing to experiment and play. Or if we are honest about our masks. Ever since I lived in ltaly I have posted this article inviting a reflection on ‘what masks you wear’.
And on reflection, Carnvale doesn’t even invite reflection.
It invites full unabashed participation.
Get serious about your play. Wear those masks. Ridicule status. Embrace your Russell Brand satirical wit. Transform into another. Embrace the sacred and the profane.
And tell me about it. Or don’t.