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Carnevale in Sicily

Here & There
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Carnevale in Sicily



This year, Carnival celebrations will start around Friday, January 25 and finish on Tuesday, February 05, 2008. This time of the year, the weather in Sicily is still quite unstable and temperatures usually range between 6 and 16 degrees Celsius, nonetheless, it is an interesting time to visit the island as mount Etna is covered in snow and Carnival festivals make a visit all the more interesting.

Carnevale is the pre-Lenten celebration which has deep rooted traditions all over Italy. It marks the last chance for people to have fun and eat meat before Ash Wednesday opens the penance and fasting period. Traditionally, this was the time of the year when people could use masks to free themselves, servants could take revenge on their masters, lovers could meet disrespecting social rules and everyone was allowed to indulge on food and drinks. It is also tightly linked to the commedia dell’arte, the famous comic form of street theatre that developed in Italy in the 15th century. These troupes of actors featured colorful costumes and masked clowns called zanni playing characters such as Pulcinella, Arlecchino, and Pantalone, each tied to a specific region and renown for their distinctive masks which later became traditional carnival costumes.

Today, the celebrations have lost part of the original meaning and charm, and are mostly dedicated to children. However, throughout Italy, and also in Sicily, cities, towns and villages still celebrate this festivity. It is a great time to visit these towns if you have children or you simply like mingling with the locals taking part in traditional celebrations.

Carnival traditions in Sicily date back to the 17th century when the first celebrations took place in the capital, Palermo. The first Carnival chariot in papier mache’ was made in Palermo in 1601 and represented Neptune surrounded by mermaids and this art then spread to other towns in Sicily. Today the most famous celebrations are the ones in the following towns: Acireale, Sciacca,Termini Imerese and Palazzolo Acreide.


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1. Re: Carnevale in Sicily

Hi Vagabonda

As you may remember from replying to one of my posts a while ago, my partner and I are going/coming to Sicily 30th January for a week.

Please can you advise what are the best places for Carnival and what the dates are as I believe there are activities and fireworks. If there is more than one on the same day, which would you choose to visit? We will be staying in Torre Riposto.

I have also looked at the company; Etna Experience and am considering a Snowshoe Safari on Etna, do you think this would be good?

Thank you in advance for your reply.

Here & There
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2. Re: Carnevale in Sicily

Great time for Carnevale and Torre Riposto is near many of the towns with festivities – Bronte, Misterbiaco, Paternò, Acireale, Belpasso, Francavilla Francavilla, Taormina, Saponara, and Novara.

Carnevale Festivals in Italy:


Sciacca’s Carnevale is one of the best in Sicily!




The Carnevale di Acireale has an outstanding Carnevale!!!!





Saponara in Messina celebrates Carnevale!


This is an article about Carnevale (in Italian), and though the Google translation is very clumsy, the information is good.

Il Carnevale in Sicilia:


The Carnival in Sicily - Google translation:

Currently used to celebrate Carnival is still keenly felt throughout the island. There are many festivals organized by individuals, but even more numerous are those held in public and that can boast a secular tradition.

Starting an overview of the various events in the island, one can speak of celebrations implemented in Palazzolo Acreide - Sr. -. Here the Carnival is celebrated for six days in a row through the parades of allegorical floats, the participation of traditional masks Siracusan as "cuturri", and several large veglioni binges based "Cavatieddi" (a type of pasta dressed with sauce pork), sausage and toasted trout. Here, the carnival is marked by spontaneity and total involvement of all citizens with dignity that contributes to the success of the representation of its kind in the entire province of Syracuse. Knowing the origins of this anniversary is a difficult town, as indeed in many other cities island, but the event should be remembered that the involvement of the public is total and because you can admire many masks.

A feast Another Carnival takes place in the city of Termini Imerese – Pa.

Even here comes the parade of floats representing a satire of the various personalities of world politics and entertainment, various dances and the burning of two puppets, "nannu" and "nanna" event which stipulates the end of the festivities and of.

Next interesting event Sicilian Carnival is "The Master of Field", a pantomime that takes place in the public square and that involves the whole city of Mezzojuso - Pa.

The event has ancient origins since its existence is attested since the seventeenth century and states that have shown a face covered by a red mask and try to win his beloved queen perched in his castle. For some the event Bernardo Cabrera recalls that in 1412, climbed the Palazzo Steri in Palermo to win the White Navarre, the queen that he loved. Actually, the comparison has historical inconsistencies because in reality the queen not ricambiava these sentiments. This pantomime tragicomic also foresees the intervention of about sixty appearing dressed in costumes dating back to the fifteenth century. Over the centuries, given the age of the event, the event has been changed, as the intervention of "Garibaldi" and some of his men who are starting from the beginning of 1900.

Evident Participation of both worlds and its people is very active: the Garibaldian recruiting a good battle with the guards of the Saracen castle. Other characteristic pantomime characters that are allies of Mastro Field, bandits and guerrillas represented by the Group of Forforio who want to subvert the order represented by the Court of the King and the "Devil Pecoraio", shown covered with skins of sheep is the real opponent Evident pantomime. At the end of the pantomime, as well as to the tradition of the finest tales, Mastro Field manages to win his beloved.

The Carnival of Sciacca - Ag - is probably one of the most famous events throughout Sicily. In this city at the foot of Mount San Calogero Carnival, after a few years of decline, has become a genuine attraction for tourists and opportunity for fun and involvement for all citizens.

The disguise and sfarzosità wagon made this event in this city one of the most important events, and to become one of the most famous carnivals of Italy. The event has seen ancient origins dating back to 1800, when the festival was an opportunity not only to prepare and decorate floats and give free rein all'allegria, but also to devote himself to the "sins throat" abbuffandosi with wine, sausage, macaroni with sauce and ricotta cannoli. The floats here preparations have been positive technological innovations, provide for the involvement of architects, artisans and sculptors ceramics to become the imposing structures for satirical representations of the various personalities of our time. The various events start in the city Thursday fat with the keys of the city to mask "Peppe Nnappa". The central moments of the event have with the parade of floats, an event which begins on Saturday and ends on Tuesday. On the evening of Tuesday, after days spent singing and dancing, culminating all the celebrations with the burning wagon "Peppe Nnappa" Burning along with whistles and martelletti.

Even The town of Bronte - Ct - well known for the large production of pistachios that is now dedicated a famous festival, celebrating Carnival. While in the past this event provided for the intervention, in public city streets, "Laddatori" - masks representing local classes poorest of the city - currently the Carnival Bronte provides always for streets, the parade of floats and Masked groups.

The Carnival of Misterbianco - Ct - has been significantly altered over the years, but has always remained a fixture in the city to offer a real opportunity for fun and break from everyday life. While in the past was used to prepare a stage where a musical Banda allietava participants to the party with cheerful music and ballabili, making game and see women, well-masked, invite friends to dance and to be offered the harvest, which is currently the celebrations include the parade of more than seven hundred masks. This event takes place on Sunday prior to Carnival Carnival on Sunday and Tuesday grease. The preparation of costumes, among other valuable bill requires a long process that has lasted many months and the abundant use of materials and this helps to make the event a true pride of the city. The parade of masks involves various committees that each year is a different theme than previously realized and that symbolized by other groups.

The Carnival of Paternò - Ct - has lost some of its old enamel and pomp, but is still always a pleasant occurrence town. Even in this case, you can watch the parade of floats and masked groups and listen to the music for streets as they did in the past, but has lost the old habit of seeing women dressed in cloaks and masks blacks to inviting without being recognize, a dance men.

The Carnival of Acireale - Ct - has very ancient origins, it is presumed, lie in the feast of Saint Sebastian compatrono opened in the seventeenth century, in the domain Aragonese, and soon became a public holiday with games, masked and various performances. In 1800, moreover, there were parades of floats from which noble nobles of the place precisely launched harvest to the people. Only in 1929 the festival takes on a form organized and, over the years, become increasingly opulent and imposing enough to become an almost obligatory step for those who want to spend a few days of euphoria before the advent of Lent. Every year we have the parade of floats infiorati constructed papier, folk groups and masked, the showing of singers and majorettes, the execution of popular games and the active participation of local people and tourists.

The Carnival celebrated in Belpasso-Ct - provides, in addition to the usual breakdown of everyday life and establish a joyous moment of leisure and fun, different and distinct celebratory moments. We start with the recital of poets local dialect, continues with the traditional but always fascinating parade groups formed in maschera, in large part, from cultural associations towns and ends with the full involvement of masks in public square to listen to good live music and dancing in drag leave.

Of course, the course Sicilian capital has its carnival. Like the others, including the Carnival of Palermo has a glorious past behind consists of parades which provide for the presence of baroque costumes, palii allegorical, from comedies represented in the square. The magic moment of this event we have seen especially in 1700 when the festival everyone involved, from the noble populace. All streets, especially major ones like "Cassaro" and the "New Road", the celebrations were theatre and so called "Carrozzate", ie parades carriages patron that housed the local nobles who loved to mix with the people live in the first person the party. Not to mention theater citizens, the kingdom uncontested games and masked balls. Currently, the festival Palermo Carnival can be understood as recovery of memory and the ancient but still valid traditions that have made the famous event, as well as enhancement of the architectural city since the event takes place along the main streets.

The Carnival of Corleone - Pa - as a symbol of the mask "Riavulicchio" symbol of the rebirth of a long holiday corleonese buried on the grounds of public policy, and a few years the need for resumption of popular entertainment and a break with the sad and monotonous daily life. In the past the national party had a more popular taste and saw the presence of several "Riavulicchi" scorrazzavano incontrastati flock in the streets accompanied by the chimes of bells and making numerous preceded by the sound of horns. In their day of the feast could attend riding that poured along the streets.

Currently, the festival provides for the participation of Banda, the trophy districts assigned to the group that better than anyone realizes a wagon allegorical, parades of floats that are realized on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday that require as a concluding moment, the dance in the public square near the City Hall. Moment of conclusive event corleonese involves burning "Nannu, the puppet representing Carnival whose" death "represents the end of an era and the birth of a future. Before burning, Fantoccio reads his testament from the balcony of Town Hall, under the eyes of the participants at the party, then receive a series of sausage and is subsequently accompanied to the pyre.

Francavilla Francavilla of Sicily - Me - developed close to the famous and picturesque Gorges dell'Alcantara and surrounded by the river and the St. Paul River Zaviani, organizes every year, as other cities island, a carnival that lasts an entire week. The party sees the emergence of songs and dances that involve the entire citizenship, the parades of allegorical floats, the personification of Carnival in the form of "His Majesty", initially honoured parade through the courts and then accompanied by the "Great Funeral Procession" you need to bury the mask with the same period nepremičnin in licenziosi entertainment. True symbol of Carnival Francavilla is the dance collective.

Even the popular holiday resort island of Taormina - ME - provides various celebrations for the Carnival. Again competitiveness in the implementation of the wagons and ostentatious pomp by them is truly remarkable given that all citizens with achievement of these symbols that then sfileranno cheerful as in the classic parade on Sunday and Tuesday grease. The prizes are substantial and offered not only by municipal, but also the various associations of traders, and are a great stimulus to give the best of themselves in the implementation of the wagons.

The citizen involvement does not stop only at this aspect, but also the presence of various mass to the evening festivities that will be pursued in the public square during the days of celebration and canons that require canore races, games like the tree of cuccagna and dance engaging. It is apparent that the carnival Taormina can be considered a step to celebrate Carnival in Sicily in joy and in the company and can be regarded as a splendid example of the fun and.

Another centre is in the province of Messina which provides a variety of events for Carnival is Saponara.

Among the constituent moments of the festival you have the usual but always fascinating and engaging allegorical floats and the culmination of the festival is the fat Tuesday when all citizens are involved in the "dell'Orso and Principesca Court.

The Bear is gigantic, it agghindato with bells and held by ropes and is followed by players' brogne and horns, the princely pair, the jester, the write-adviser and the rest of the court. The whole parade also has been enhanced thanks to the participation of various groups and individuals dressed in form.

In the event collective memory recalls a historical fact.Dominic Prince Alliata di Villafranca and his wife Vittoria Di Giovanni, Baroness of Saponara, reigned in the eighteenth century, at that time a ferocious bear threatened citizenship and the prince will capture and guaranteed to reassure the citizens of the danger and escaped on their own validity of lord and protector of the city did chain the beast and he did lead to the streets.

The event hours told was the cue for a disguise and satirical burlesque that over the years has become the centrepiece of the carnival and that also serves to exorcise old fears to document how people live certain social events and civil and not only to recall and represent key moments in the history of the city.

The Carnival in Novara of Sicily - Me - provides, in addition to the traditional festivities, the tournament of the race of local forms of cheese maiorchino - pecorino pure obtained through special processes and maturing and that takes a form similar to that of parmesan -- . It 'an event that boasts four centuries of history and the involvement of various teams made up of three elements, teams compete by rolling forms of cheese weighing about twelve pounds for the streets. The event as a natural conclusion Festival during which it can be consumed not only the cheese in question, but also ricotta and tuma.

Chiaramonte Chiaramonte Gulfi - Rg - celebrate Carnival involving not only the eyes but also the throat. In fact, two distinct moments of Carnival Chiaramonte consist of the parade of floats that takes place on Sunday and Tuesday of Carnival and culminating in the award ceremony and the festival Sausage who performs Monday evening.

Of course, even in this city, as well as other representatives island, the involvement of citizenship is insured through dancing in the streets.

For more information on Carnevale in Sicily:


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Nice trip!


Here & There
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3. Re: Carnevale in Sicily

May also enjoy this!

Sciacca Carnival:



Here & There
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4. Re: Carnevale in Sicily

Acireale 2008 Carnevale Calendar!



5. Re: Carnevale in Sicily

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