Masopust revelry

March 5, 2010
Masopust parade

Parades and bacchanalian parties wind down.

It’s been weeks since the official beginning of Lent, marked by Ash Wednesday (Feb 17), but Masopust (Mardi Gras) events are only slowly winding down in the Czech Republic. Long-associated with ancient mythological rites of paying homage to fertility gods and driving out the spirit of winter, Masopust is celebrated throughout the world by different names like Mardi Gras (US) or Carnival (Brazil). This year, we’ve witnessed several approaches to merry-making from the carnival party held at my daughter’s preschool, to the community ples (evening ball) and subsequent day-time family party held in my husband’s hometown to a nearby village’s annual allegorical parade topped off with zabíjačka (pig slaughter and roast).

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