Also, when the winter is coming to an end some Germanic tribes used the remaining butter and meat they had stored for the cold period right before it became rotten. After that, they would have a period of shortage of food so they had to eat as much as they could. Very frequently it has been applied to sexual desire too...
Carnival day is always celebrated on a Tuesday. This is so because it has to be the day before Ash Wednesday. But celebrations start the previous Thursday, this year, February 4th( in Spain called “Jueves Lardeo”).
Carnival in the world
In 2016, Ash Wednesday is February 10th therefore Carnival Day has to be February 9th, actually this day is the last of the Carnival celebrations.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, when Christians celebrate the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert as an spiritual time of reflection. Therefore, the date of the Carnivals are established indirectly by the Catholic Church because it depends on when Easter Sunday is set. This year Easter Sunday is March 27. It has to do with the moon calendar. If you ever noticed, Friday of Passion is always full moon.
The first modern parade of carnival happened in Cologne (Germany) in 1823. Previously the Carnival of Venice was very popular but Napoleon abolished it in 1797. In 1979 the tradition was restored.
Today it is spread all over the world and has the most famous ones in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) with their colorful parades and their sense of rhythm. In Spain on the Canary Islands we have the “Reina del Carnaval” where the most beautiful ladies wear the most amazing outfits. In Cadiz the famous "Chirigotas" make the funniest sung parodies.