The Carnival season starts after Epiphany in January and lasts until Ash Wednesday in March or April. Historically a time to enjoy eating and drinking, it served as a virtual bridge between Christmas and Easter periods. Literally, it also links winter with the spring.
The Carnival in Slovakia
During Carnival, people dressed in traditional garments or in costumes usually worn on this occasion are dancing and singing their regional folklore music. Slaughterhouse delicacies, fried doughnuts and other sweets are eaten and intensive partying takes place. Masquerade balls, folk dancing and singing, staying out until the early morning and simply having fun are typical attributes of this period of year.
Huge dinner parties are held as well as traditional pig-slaughtering or various sledge competitions, including horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow-covered countryside. Folk entertainment with masques ends up with ritual of burying the double-bass symbolizing the end of festivities. At most places in Slovakia, processions are held in the streets with singing and dancing.
The end of the Carnival season in Slovakia was historically always connected with lots of fun and joy. Shrovetide is its traditional end. Boisterous parties often last from Sunday until midnight on Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The final carnival procession is the traditional "The Double Bass Burial" after which the music ceases for the entire period of Lent.