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Difference Between Circus and Carnival

Circus vs Carnival

Circus and carnival are two significant names in the history of entertainment. Before movie houses, concerts and other modern-day outdoor entertainment forms became widespread, people usually only had the circus and carnival to look forward to in giving them a pleasurable time.


Circus refers to an event by a group of professional entertainers comprised of jugglers, acrobats, stuntmen and clowns who usually travel from state to state in order to gain popularity in a wide range of locations. They often have trained animals as well as enticing props that can grab the attention of the audience and provide entertainment. A circus is usually held inside a large circular tent or ring set up outdoors.


Carnival is a festival that is held in tribute of a particular religious, historical or cultural figure. It involves a lot of amusement rides, stalls that sell toys, candies and other attractive trinkets, as well as entertaining shows. A carnival may cover a large space outdoors, in which the crowd can walk along to choose their desired form of entertainment.

Difference between a Circus and a Carnival

A circus is held in a location where all the participating audiences as well as performers are gathered; the main focus of attention of the crowd in general will be at the center of this gathering, where performers can showcase their tricks, stunts and exhibitions on a large space designated for them. On the other hand, a carnival may consist of simultaneous entertainment outlets which the crowd can choose at their own will. A circus is held on a date scheduled for that particular place that is included in the circus group’s tour, while a carnival is held annually at a fixed date usually as a cultural celebration.

While the use of both of these may have a vague distinction, you should keep in mind that they have different historical paths.

In brief:

• A circus is held a ring or circular tent wherein the crowd will gather to witness exhibitions by entertainers and trained animals.

• A carnival is held in tribute to a religious, historical or cultural figure and comprises simultaneous entertainment outlets, such as food stalls, rides, games and mini-shows.


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