Light reflections add even more interest to this mask.
The Brazilian Carnival, or Carnaval is an annual festival in Brazil held four days before Ash Wednesday, the day of fasting and repentance that marks the beginning of Lent. On certain days of Lent, Roman Catholics and some other Christians abstain from the consumption of meat and poultry -- hence the term "carnival," from carnelevare, "to remove (literally, "raise") meat." Carnival celebrations are believed to have roots in the pagan festival of Saturnalia, which, adapted to Christianity, became a farewell to certain pleasures in a season that honors Christ's death.
Brazilian Carnival exhibits some differences from its European counterparts, having mixed Euro, Native and African elements. Furthermore, rhythm, participation, and costume vary from one region of Brazil to another. For example, in the southeastern cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, organized parades led by samba schools vie for prizes on the "sambodromo" open stage and only samba-school affiliates participate in the shows. Smaller cities often have no public manifestations but promote balls in recreational clubs. The northeastern cities of Salvador, Porto Seguro and Recife have organized groups parading through streets, but watchers are also welcome to dance, following the "trio elétrico" floats through the city streets.