A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale (any joke is allowed for Carnevale)!
We have been celebrating Carnevale for a while in Italy and today is martedì grasso (fat Tuesday), last day before il mercoledì delle ceneri (ash Wednesday). Therefore, celebrations get wild and children are on school holidays all week, they didn’t have the mid term break, though!
You already know about famous Carnivals (Carnevali), such as Venezia’s or Viareggio’s or Ivrea’s. They are incredible world famous attractions, but Carnevale is very important throughout Italy. In any town and village, Carnevale is celebrated by masqueraded children and adults who welcome or take part in parades on big carts among tons of streamers and confetti. The majority of Italian towns have their own masks or characters, such as Colombina and Pantalone for Venezia, Brighella and Arlecchino for Bergamo, Pulcinella for Napoli, Gianduia for Torino and many many others (presentation). Many of them were a representation and mockery of the society and its roles and rules. In fact, Pantalone (Venezia) represents a merchant who is very greedy and always complaining about something, while Colombina (Venezia) is a servant, but very clever and funny. Through il Carnevale the rules and roles were criticized and made fun of. It is the same today, in fact many carts are carrying giants made of papier-mache who are representing and mocking Italian politicians… take a look at the picture above (do you recognize him?) …
BUT above all, children love Carnevale with streamers, confetti, bugie (it is one of our typical pastry for Carnevale) and scherzi (jokes).
This is why we are celebrating Carnevale here at Piccolitalia this Saturday and we are going to dress up, we’ll have our coriandoli and stelle filanti, our dances and our pignatta to beat up! Lots to do for our children and lots to do for us to keep Carnevale alive!