The name of this painting by Goya is "The Burial of the Sardine," a Spanish tradition commemorating the end of festivities before Lent, which starts today.
Every year as a child I watched my Catholic friends go through Lent, a period of self-sacrifice. In the northern Midwest they didn't even get to celebrate Carnival or Mardi Gras beforehand. There were just these dull conversations:
A: What are you giving up for Lent?
A: Me too.
B: It's not so bad. I hardly ever have it anyway.
A: Yeah, me neither.
It seemed similar to New Year's resolutions, although generally more negative, with the emphasis on giving-up rather than getting-a-fresh-start. But Carnival? Now that is something enviable. What a party, worth all of the self-denial afterward! Too bad they don't celebrate like that in Wisconsin; is it just too cold, or what?
|Photo: Denis Doyle, Getty images|
Here in Oregon, we're a bit turned around. The beginning of Lent coincides with the Portland Jazz Festival, and that's where John and I are headed today. We'll attend 3 performances, soak up Portland, and be back on Sunday. No burying of sardines for us, time for a celebration!