Finland was a very sparsely populated, extensive area, and the peasantry succeeded in retaining many of the ancient traditions, exactly as in Europe generally, by giving them Christian interpretations.
This is what happened in the productive village of Ritvala in Tavastland, for instance, where an ancient heathen fertility rite was given Catholic garb in the early fourteenth century, but otherwise continued into the eighteenth century in as bacchanalian a guise as it always had.
(bolds are mine)
- A history of Finland by Henrik Meinander
My concern is sencond sentence above.
My first question: What does otherwise mean in this sentence? Does it mean that they gave their fertility rite a catholic garb and in the backstage the were continuing their own tradition?
Second question: Where does "as bacchanalian a guise as" belong to in this sentence? I am getting confused about this particular usage of "as ... as" in this sentence. Can someone please put a simplified version of this sentence? Because I want to translate this sentence into my native language.