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Farewell to Flesh

In case you somehow missed the noise and colorful chaos, local folks cut loose from pent up pandemic anxieties with a few days of full-blown Carnaval revelry.

pg16aCovid be damned, it seemed that the majority of the celebrants who covered up their faces for the occasion were Ajijic’s masked Sayaca dancers.

Perhaps because people aren’t seeing friends and family fall ill from the virus, there’s a sense that the dangers of contagion have finally vanished. Official statistics from health authorities bear up the idea, showing the number of confirmed active cases in our municipality has steadily dropped from 19 on February 1 to zero since the last day of the month. We’ll know in a week or so if the popular wisdom theory holds up.

For now the bedlam is over. Lent, the 40-day liturgical season of fasting and penitence, commenced with Miércoles de Ceniza (Ash Wednesday) rituals on March 2.

Scholars have come up with varied interpretations of the etymology of the Spanish term carnaval, a common one being a derivation of the Latin carnem-levare, meaning remove meat, or farewell to flesh.

More familiar to Anglos is the French term Mardi Gras, translated as Fat Tuesday, reflecting the age-old practice of indulging in rich and fatty foods on the eve of the Lenten period of abstinence.

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