This month sees Carnival celebrated across Spain as well as other parts of the world. For Catholic countries like Spain, Carnival marks the last days before Lent when the tradition was to fast or abstain from eating meat and deny earthly pleasures. However, it is speculated that Carnival has its origins in pagan times, dating back long before Christianity, as a way to celebrate the end of winter and the spiritual passage of dark to light with the arrival of spring. In Europe the pagan belief was that evil spirits ruled the world during the winter and they had to be driven out in order that summer could return. Both ancient Greece and Rome held a large spring festival which was all about feasting and drunken revelry and Carnival lives on as an annual festival celebrated across the world.
The word Carnival is said to have its origins in the Latin ‘carnis’ (meat) and ‘levare’ (to leave off) as during Lent people refrained from eating meat, dairy and fat. However, the custom of fasting may have come about due to the scarcity of food towards the end of Winter. Carnival feasting was a chance for people to eat well before springtime and the arrival of a new harvest. Although modern farming methods ensure there is no shortage of food in the developed world, more recently some climate activists have been advocating for people to decrease, or refrain from meat and dairy consumption, due to the contribution intensive farming methods make to climate change. Last year, environmental campaigners issued a challenge to Pope Francis to go vegan for Lent and receive a $1 million donation to a charity of his choice.
Whether you intend to give anything up for Lent or not, Carnival time is a great opportunity to celebrate the end of winter and the arrival of longer days with more sunlight. The sun’s energy can be harvested for Renewable Energy to heat water for your home; provide electricity; heat your swimming pool, or even just to dry your washing outside.
With more daylight hours, more Solar Energy can be generated to help reduce reliance on more expensive fossil fuel alternatives. There are Carnival celebrations in most towns across Spain. The Águilas Carnival has been declared a Fiesta of International Tourist Interest and there are also Carnival parades in Mazarrón and Totana.
If you are interested in learning more about how Renewable Energy can help you lower your bills and your carbon footprint, email Free-Sol Solar at firstname.lastname@example.org