Carnival Facts

  • Carnival started off as the last celebration before the period of fasting and penitence – Lent (Randan).
  • The word Carnival comes from latin for ‘Goodbye to Meat’ (Carne Vale). Traditionally meat is not eaten during the whole 40 days of Lent.
  • In Malta, carnival has been celebrated since the 15th century, but was made popular mainly by the celebrations of the Knights of the Order of St John(Kavallier ta’ San Gwann).
  • The kukkanja is a tradition which was introduced to Malta in 1721. A high vertical pole covered in grease and with prizes at the top is placed in a public space – daring people to try to climb the slippery pole to reach the prizes.
  • The most popular carnivals around the world are Venice (Italy) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
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