It is called “Mardi Gras” meaning “Fat Tuesday.” It is called “Carnival” from “Carne Vale” meaning farewell to flesh.” It is the last opportunity to revel and “live it up,” before the Catholic’s forty days of lent starts, and abstinence begins. The lent season is supposed to be a time to grow in virtue through penance, sacrifice, and mortification leading up to “Easter Sunday” (Note: Sundays are not counted when counting out the forty days). Really, Mardi Gras is, to many, an excuse for sin. Booze, the flashing of boobs, and transvestites are common sights at Mardi Gras celebrations.
It is difficult to distinguish Mardi Gras celebrations from pagan feasts. New Orleans has the Bacchus Parade on the Sunday before Fat Tuesday. Bacchus was the Roman god of wine. There use to be a Comus parade and still is a Comus organization. Comus was the Greek god of festivities and excess. He is the son of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine. “During his festivals in Ancient Greece, men and women exchanged clothes. He is depicted as a young man on the point of unconsciousness from drink” (Wikipedia). Comus is source for the Greek word translated “revelries” in Galatians 5:21. The word is listed among the works of the flesh.
Many believe that the celebration is pagan in origin. Robert Farrell has written, “Mardi Gras long predates Christianity. The earliest record comes from ancient times, when tribes celebrated a fertility festival that welcomed the arrival of spring… The Romans called this pagan festival Lupercalia in honor of ‘Lupercus,’ the Roman god of fertility. Lupercalia was a drunken orgy of merry-making held each February in Rome, after which participants fasted for 40 days. Interestingly, similar to modern celebrations, the Romans donned masks, dressed in costumes and indulged in all of their fleshly desires as they gave themselves to the gods ‘Bacchus’ (god of wine) and ‘Venus’ (god of love). The masks and costumes were used as disguises to allow sexual liberties not normally permitted as individuals engaged in ‘bacchanal,’ the drunken and riotous occasion in honor of Bacchus. The word ‘bacchanal’ is still associated with carnival celebrations to this day. As pagans converted to Catholicism, they did not want to give up this popular celebration. Church leaders… decided to ‘Christianize’ this festival” (realtruth.org).
Remember these passages:
1. Galatians 6:7 – “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
2. James 1:27 – “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”