The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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Fasting Eve—Fasching—Carnival

1. The word ‘carnival’ is derived from the Italian carne (‘meat’) and levale (‘removal’), recalling the practice of abstinence from meat during the penitential season of Lent. It was originally used for the name of Shrove Tuesday, the eve of the first day of Lent (Ash Wednesday). Derived from the Old English lengten (‘springtime,’ implying the lengthening of the days), ‘lent’ is the annual forty-weekday Christ…

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Lützenkirchen, Hans-Georg and Helmut, Zander, “Carnival”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 20 April 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223

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