Carnival, Mardi Gras, Fastnachtsdienstag, Shrove Tuesady
No matter how you say it it all ends today. Carnival is over at midnight tonight, so “sin boldly” don’t put your priest to sleep when you go to confession, like the picture above. Actually I think that priest is supposed to look like he’s contemplating what his parishioner is telling him in a sober and thoughtful way.
An acquaintance of mine told me a story of Fastnachtdienstag in her home town in Germany. She related a Fastnachtdienstag celebration much like a Brazilian Carnival or New Orleans Mardi Gras that always ended at midnight when the church bells would call the people to Mass. On this one occasion everyone entered the church with much reverence wearing appropriate clothing for the occasion. All frivolity was left outside, but when one of the city officials went up to the church rail and took off his hat he was still wearing his brightly coloured paper carnival hat under his formal hat. He’d forgotten to remove it before dressing for church.
For now, however, we still have time for at least one more parade, for one more line of samba to stretch throughout the city. This time it’s a Paramount short, another documentary, from 1944, and although in black and white the colour of the celebrations still comes through.
There’s something in the way the end of that film is edited that reminded me of this scene from Metropolis.
Perhaps it’s appropriate to have an image of sin and death as the final image of my Carnival posts. The last thing I’ll be putting up before Ash Wednesday.