Carnevale is a catholic feast, from Latin carnem levare (carnem ‘meat’, levare ‘give away’) traditionally used for the banquet on the day before Quaresima (‘Lent’), martedì grasso, in French mardi gras (lit. ‘fat tuesday’) .
E dopo Carnevale farem Quaresima (‘After Carnevale we will have Lent’) the proverb says. After a big party we will need to purify.
Carnevale originates from ancient pagan rituals and celebrations, such as Greek Dionysia festival, or Roman Saturnalia, during which all social hierarchies and obligations were temporarily suspended, creating a period of Chaos, a world upside down, symbol of renewal.
People used to wear masks, costumes, and partying.
In Italy there are many famous Carnevali, in several towns, a variety of traditional costumes, and typical foods.