"Carnival, also known as Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras, is a day of ritual subversion. All the normal rules of society are turned upside down. You're allowed to get blind drunk, lift your shirt to passersby, rudely satirize public figures with parade floats - and that's only the mild version in New Orleans. In the middle ages, it was also time to openly mock your superiors with fake weddings, trials, even masses. Anything normally held sacred was ridiculed.
"Historically, at the end of the festivities, a fat man armed with phallic sausages would tilt with a skinny figure impersonating Lent, armed with fish and vegetables, and of course Lent always had to win. Then everything would go back to the way it was before."
~ Ken Albala, Grow Food, Cook Food, Share Food
Out of the Past
Artwork: The Fight Between Carnival and Lent by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1559.