giovedì 4 febbraio 2010


In our tradition the period from January 17 until the Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday (Shrove Tuesday) is dedicated to the Carnival. The spirit of this holiday is expressed by an old proverb "a carnevale ogni scherzo vale" (a carnival every joke is good), in fact every one forget everyday problems and, protected by the mask that makes it unrecognizable, is free to laugh and eat their fill. Carnival has origins in ancient Rome where there were several celebrations in honor of the gods, along the streets of the city and that included the use of masks. Towards the end of the sixteenth century, in Italy born the "Commedia dell'arte", which used the Italian masks, ie characters that reappear in every comedy with the same name, the same costume, the makeup or masks, the same language. These characters, like Harlequin, Pantalone, Colombina, Dr Balanzone, Pulcinella became famous throughout Europe. Disappeared over time from the scene of the theater, the masks have survived only in festivals and masked carnival. Today, the typical Italian ancient masks, such as Pulcinella, Arlecchino, Balanzone, etc.. are linked to caricatures of vices and defects of the inhabitants of various regions of Italy Each year many are the emergence of new and imaginative masks along with their ancestors and all together, like a long time ago, the same goal: to ensure happiness. Today the carnival is celebrated with events everywhere, masked parades, floats. The mask performs several functions: vegetative symbol of the forces of nature, animals or the dead, is to exorcise and mock the form of satire and hierarchical authority figures. Typical are the manifestations of mere tourist attractions, like the carnival of Viareggio, where "wagons" playing in caricature form, the events during the year. Often, the carnival ends with the trial, sentencing and execution at the stake of a doll that embodies Carnival, which are assigned all the blame.

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