Today is Ash Wednesday (or it was when I wrote this) and I am sad. Another Carnival has come to an end. Another frigid Carnival spent indoors following coverage on the internet and dreaming of tropical weather, beautiful women and exuberant sounds, colors and smells. But I’m not complaining. Well, maybe a little.
Did the Puritans have to take away everything fun in life? New Orleans is the only place they didn’t touch in this country, the last bastion of pure unadulterated pagan (and vaguely Catholic?) fun. What a pity! It truly is one of the most beautiful and most inspiring celebrations of the year. Seriously!
Now you are welcome to call me a stupid, self-absorbed, Bohemian frat boy, who is only looking for a good time (something I won’t confirm or deny). But if you do, you clearly are missing the point. While Carnival does involve a good amount of having fun, getting drunk, hooking up with strangers, loud music, excessive tourism and commercialization and widespread disorder, there is also something a little more profound going on. For Carnival, is also about letting go of all of your problems for a couple days and allowing yourself to simply enjoy life, stress free, it is about working together to turn a couple of seemingly unimportant days into the most magical time of year, and it is about celebrating life in spite of all the trying difficulties that mankind faces. What could be more beautiful and inspiring than that?
So keep criticizing, if you want. Call me self-centered and uncaring. But don’t expect to be able to save the world, if you’re incapable of occasionally letting loose.
Happy Carnival and see you again next year!
– Carlos de la Gringa