Carnival and Lent

Carnival is not a spectacle seen by the people; they live in it, and everyone participates because its very idea embraces all the people. While carnival lasts, there is no other life outside it. During carnival time life is subject only to its laws, that is, the laws of its own freedom. It has a universal spirit; it is a special condition of the entire world, of the world's revival and renewal, in which all take part. Such is the essence of carnival, vividly felt by all its participants.

Mikhail Bakhtin
Rabelais and His World

Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World, trans. Hélène Iswolsky (1968; reprint, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, Midland Book, 1984), p. 7.
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