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  • Writer's pictureFlora


Carnival is an annual festival that occurs in the days leading up to Lent. It’s celebrated in various countries as a time to party and express their culture through music, dance, entertainments and food.

Carnival in Italy usually lasts a couple weeks, culminating in Fat Tuesday, but there are not strict rules, since every region has its own local traditions and way of celebrating.

Everywhere throughout the country people can enjoy masquerades, street parades, performances, and special treats, along with games and jokes.

The most famous is the one held in Venice, which officially started in the 13th century.

With it, its tradition of mask makers.

Let my parade begin, then!!!

It's been so fun wearing costumes and masks of some popular 'Commedia dell'Arte' characters!

This Italian theatrical form emerged in the 16th century, and brought onstage a unique array of stock characters, each with peculiar traits and features.

Here's my selection, and some fun facts:

HARLEQUIN: according to legend, Harlequin was a poor child. One day, his teacher decided to organize a Carnival school party. He couldn't afford any costume though, so his classmates donated to Harlequin's mother some pieces of fabrics from their own dresses. With all those scraps, she created this special patched costume, and he was the prettiest kid of the Carnival party!

COLUMBINE: her apron needs big pockets to hide love letters! She's the messenger of a secret correspondence between her master's daughter Rosaura and her lover Florindo (not allowed to see each other).

PULCINELLA: he represents the city of Naples, and the way its people are able to handle every situation in life, with ingenuity, and always a smile!

SANDRONE: he's the symbol of the city of Modena. Once a year (every Thursday before Lent), Sandrone, together with his wife Pulonia and their son Sgorghiguelo, puts in an appearance at the City Hall balcony, and makes a traditional speech. He comments, criticizes and addresses various social/civic matters, with humor and spontaneity. Usually a huge crowd gathers downtown to wait for their arrival.

There are also some amazing pieces of art inspired by Carnival parties!!!

This is one of my favorites: 'Carnival Scene' (or 'The Minuet') by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, 1754-55.

In 1500, during the Carnival celebrations in Italy, sugar-coated coriander fruits were thrown over the crowd from balconies and carriages parading through the city. Even when replaced by tiny discs of paper, they kept their name of 'corianders', CORIANDOLI.

There's no Carnival without confetti!!!

So today, I made my own project, creating eco-friendly confetti!

You only need fallen leaves or flower petals, and a hole punch! Have fun with shapes and colors!!!

Of course you can't miss a taste of 'FRAPPE', a typical - super yummy - treat during the Italian Carnival season!!!

Try my recipe:, you are going to love it as much as we do!!! ;-)

Practical jokes and tricks of all sorts are accepted during the carnival season!

I learned this popular italian saying:

"At Carnival time, anything goes!".

Ehm... Yes, I was pranked, too. :-|

At the very end of my journey, it was my desire to share a short Italian poem about Carnival.

Poem and nursery rhyme reading is an other traditional activity that many, especially the little ones, enjoy doing during this time.

Unfortunately though, almost nothing has been translated into English, so I will just mention the name of my favorite author: Gianni Rodari, and a title of a poem: Scherzi di Carnevale.

That's what I was reading here:

What a memorable experience has been!!! I loved every single moment of this virtual trip to Italy!

Learning new things about your culture or a different one is always so inspiring and enriching!

Can't wait to explore other countries, and other interesting customs!

Any suggestions? ;-)


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