As a response to the piety and rigidity of Lent, Carnival evolved into a celebration which championed the spirit of indulgence. This could be described as enjoying all the sinful pleasures before having to abstain from them. The word Carnival stems from the Old Italian Carnelevale, meaning abstention from meat eating (part of the fasting tradition of Lent). The costumes and masks also have a historical symbolism. To wear a mask was a gesture that the physical body was at the mercy of the will of other deities (animal, spirit, person, etc.) The person could therefore not be held accountable for any sins committed.
Carnival celebrations are most famous in countries where Catholicism is a predominant religion, though it is a phenomenon found in various cultures and countries. Whether it is street dancing, parades, feasting or old fashioned partying, carnival is a time for everyone to enjoy themselves.