CARNIVAL IS CELEBRATED BY CATHOLICS AROUND THE WORLD WITH PARADES, PROCESSIONS, MUSIC, FESTIVALS, DANCING, SINGING, CHANTING, PRAYING, PARTYING, FOOD AND DRINK. IT IS KNOWN AS THE TIME TO REVEL IN THE JOY OF BEING HUMAN BEFORE ASH WEDNESDAY SIGNIFIES THE BEGINNING OF THE FORTY DAYS OF PENANCE, PIETY, FASTING AND SELF-REFLECTION THAT IS THE PERIOD OF LENT IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.
Although many celebrate carnival, few seem to realize its origins. Carnival has its roots in the celebration of the spring equinox and the rebirth of the earth. The Catholic Church wisely tailored its own celebrations of Lent, Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus to coincide with pagan traditions, truly making Catholicism have a universal appeal to the masses. The Catholic Church also gave its parishioners the freedom to revel in the joys of the flesh immediately prior to the commencement of Lent and the most holy day of the Gregorian calendar: Easter. Thus, carnival was born.
Officially, carnival begins on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, the twelfth day of Christmas, the day the Three Magi visited the baby Jesus and showered him with gifts and directed the world to celebrate. Easter is a flexible holiday date that changes based on the moon cycle. It is celebrated every year on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. Thus, Lent begins forty days before Easter, on Ash Wednesday, and this is when carnival officially concludes. Some years, carnival only lasts one month; some years, nearly six weeks. This year, 2014, though, is a special year as both the Gregorian and Julian calendars coincide and Easter is celebrated on the same day, April 20, for Western Catholics and the followers of the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches. And, thus, carnival will be celebrated for nearly sixty days total.
Photographer Ricardo Muñiz takes this festival of flesh to its bare pagan and Catholic roots in this symbolic story he named CARNAVALE. In his characteristic style of dark and moody images, and suing men of color as his heroes, Ricardo has created an atmosphere of carnival that is both mysterious and fun as well as sensual and erotic. A true feast of deliverance. –BM-
RICARDO MUÑIZ | BEAUTIFULMAG