One again the ever-vibrant Playa del Carmen will be hosting The Magic of Carnival 2011 in the heart of the Riviera Maya.The festival starts Wednesday March 2nd and continues to the following Wednesday March 11th, with Friday the 4th will be held the first Carnival Ride, five in the afternoon until eight at night, in a course winding from Fifth Avenue to outside the City Hall.
For those who don’t know, the yearly celebration of Carnaval is big part of Mexican culture and history and a celebration like few others. Brilliant lights, dazzling colors, traditional music, folklore, arts, dances, feathered costumes resembling the indigenous traditions and a series of performances on the streets as well as on erected stages.
Carnaval began originally in pagan times as a wine celebration for the God of Wine Dionysios. The Greek influence can still be seen today in the masks, dancing, drinking and costumes associated with Carnaval. The present-day version of Carnaval however came about through a fusion of the pagan festival and Catholicism, similar to other popular celebration like Halloween and St. Valentine’s day. The origin of the word Carnaval comes from the Italian word Carnevale, which means to be without meat and is celebrated in the time before Lent, at period during which practicing Catholics go without meat for a month.
If you are lucky enough to be in Playa at the time of this celebration, it is most certainly a must-see event, with sights, sounds and tastes you’ve never experienced before to be had. No matter what language you say it in or what you call it; Carnaval, Carnevale, Karneval or Mardi Gras, they all mean one thing for certain…a good time.”