Carnevale in Sicilia


As  in many other parts of the world, Carnival in Sicily means happiness. Masks, confetti and streamers are everywhere in combination with a lot of music. Almost every town organizes something and everybody is participating, so there are a lot of public and private parties. Everybody is participating and dressed up for the feast; not only the children. The exact term of “Carnival” comes from the Latin word “Carnem Levare“, which stand for the ecclesiastical prohibition of eating meat during Lent. Historically, the party represents a mirror that reflects the social, political and civil rights of all times, always assuming transgression of the limits set by the political and religious powers. During carnival people are happy, unlimited and free to celebrate; justified. Festivities related to the manifestations of a profane and folkloristic carnival, used to last more than a month; from the day after Epiphany (a Christian holiday on January 6 celebrating the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus) until Lent.  After the earthquake of January 11, 1643, the Carnival period started to reduce and the feast started to be anticipated in the week of Lent. The Carnival period differs per year and location.  This year, Carnival starts at the 19th of February and finishes the 21st of February, in Sicilia. An important day prior to the feast of Carnival is the Thursday before the first day of Carnival.
There are a lot of places to celebrate Carnival in Sicilia, but the question is: what are the best places to go? Many argue that the best feast of Carnival is the one of Acireale. This is a little town near Catania, of which the historical centre is named in the ‘Unesco world heritage list’ for its beautiful baroque buildings. So, if you will visit this place some day, it is recommended to go there in Carnival period and to take a good look around.  Another popular place to go for Carnival is a town near to Palermo; Sciacca. This is described on the internet as “a happening” that you should not miss. With its colourful costumes and decorated floats, representing characters that evoke ancient local traditions, the SciaccaCarnival is a testimony to Sicily’s rich cultural heritage. A lot of traditions are followed during the celebration of Carnival. For example, a particular dance during this feast is called the slaves’ dance or ‘Degli Schiavi’, during which participants dressed as slaves danced in the streets to the ancient, traditional drum- instruments. When it comes down to the most characteristic Sicilian masks, there are a few that should be noted. For example the ones of “Jardinara“, “Varca“, belonging to the province of Palermo in particular, and those of “Briganti“and”Cavallacciu“, typical of the area of Catania. Near Catania there is also a small town called Misterbianco which is famous for the costumes people are wearing during Carnival. Carnival period is also rooted in culinary traditions such as meat and sweets, different in each area. Popular traditional Sicilian sweets that are eaten a lot during Carnival, are ‘Fravioli’ (which you can see on the picture) and ‘Chiacchiere’. If you celebrate Carnival and you enjoy the celebration of this feast, you should definitely explore the different ways of celebrating Carnival in different countries, provinces, cities and towns.

Carnevale in Sicilia ultima modifica: 2012-02-16T14:14:00+00:00 da eprojectadmin