Carnivals were thought to have been initially based around a religious festival held mainly in Catholic countries. In the days before Lent, all rich food and drink had to be disposed of. The consumption of this, in a giant party that involved the whole community is thought to be the origin of Carnival. The most famous ones being the Venetian Carnival first recorded in medieval Italy, spreading throughout Europe, and then the other most notable ones being the Caribbean Carnivals, the Brazilian Rio Carnival and of course the Lerwick Summer Carnival. Charles Harrison’s cartoon from 1933 captures the local spirit of the event.
RAILWAY PORTER: (to Jones, who has arrived at seaside resort on carnival day) "It'll be a narrer squeak, Sir, but I'll do my best to git your luggidge to the hotel before I takes part in the procession."