The Origin Of Carnival – Should Believers Get Involved?

If you consider your self a person that follows the bible and believes in God it is always good to know what you are worshiping and the reason for any celebrations that you take part in, if you are going to worship God properly.

The Messiah made it clear that there were people that had no clue what they were worshiping, when he spoke to a Samaritan woman.

John 4:22

22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

So as believers it is our responsibility to know why we worship (celebrate) anything that we do, because sinning unknowingly does not excuse the sin.

So lets find out where Carnival came from, then we can decide whether or not it is something God would condone. first I would like to start by saying that, God asked the Israelite men to take part in 3 celebrations, which are the Feast of unleavened bread, Feast of weeks (aka Pentecost) and the feast of Tabernacles.

If you have never acknowledged any of theses celebrations I would suggest you look into them before even considering a carnival celebration.

Okay! So lets start with the meaning of the term Carnival as found in a dictionary:

  1. Often Carnival The period of merrymaking and feasting celebrated just before Lent.
  2. A traveling amusement show usually including rides, games, and sideshows.
  3. A festival or revel: winter carnival.


By reading this definition, it is immediately apparent that the carnival today has some type of Religious connotations, especially as relating to the Catholic faith and the celebration of Lent (For information about Lent click here)

The carnivals relation to Lent is supported further when we look at the origins and etymology of the word Carnival as derived from Latin.

Italian carnevale, from Old Italian carnelevare, Shrovetide : carne, meat (from Latin car, carn-; see sker-1 in Indo-European roots) + levare, to remove (from Latin levre, to raise; see legwh- in Indo-European roots).


Looking at the break down of the word you can see that the word means to abstain or do away with meat, which was one of the conditions involved with Lent.

Honestly, from this information alone it should be clear to any honest believer that a carnival has no significance where the scriptures are concerned.

If we look more closely at the definition involving merrymaking and celebrations, it should be even more apparent that a carnival has NO scriptural backing at all! In-fact history shows that the Catholic carnival is closely associated to Mardi Gras, which literally means “Fat Tuesday”.

The reasoning behind it was that the people would celebrated and party just before Lent because during the time of Lent they were not allowed to eat meat.

Better research shows that this carnival event has its origin not in the scriptures at all but, that it is really related to a pagan celebration acknowledging the solar. History shows that the Romans were celebrating a 40 day fast before the Roman catholic church related it to Lent.

With all this said I conclude by saying this is not an event that us as true believers in the Messiah should be going out of our way to celebrate, its origins are clearly pagan, born out of superstitions and nothing more.

The Father has given us 13 days that we can be merry on for him and it is time that we all returned to them. These days represent equity, justice and peace! What could be a better celebration than that?

Here are some strong words from Paul the apostle concerning the worship carried out by Gentiles, which we are not, if we follow the ways of YHWH properly

1 Corinthians 10:20

20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.


Back to Top