CARNEVALE IN SAN VENANZO
Every year right before the somber days of Lent begin, celebrations are held all over the world…one last decadent, over-the-top indulgence before the fasting and “giving up” favorite things in preparation for Holy Week. Of course New Orleans has Mardi Gras, Venice and Rio are famous for their Carnevale celebrations. But here in Italy celebrations are held every where. Parades snake their way through tiny medieval streets, children and adults dress up in costume, confetti is everywhere, and the festivities often continue for days, sometimes weeks.
Here in San Venanzo large open-bed trucks are decorated, then filled with costumed adults and children, each celebrating a particular theme. This year's celebration was bigger and better than usual, with at least ten floats and lots of kids in costumes. Normally we watch the festivities from our living room, since the parade comes right down our street, but this year, feeling ready to get out of the house after weeks of being cooped up, we walked down to the church where everyone would assemble.
Kids were running around throwing confetti, shooting spring string on whoever or whatever was available. One by one the floats showed up….the circus, the smurfs, the chefs, the shopkeepers of San Venanzo, the train full of children. As they started off up the street, everyone socialized while waiting for their return. We found out that because the parade was so much larger this year it did NOT come down our street….thank goodness we’d decided to come out!
After the parade had made two loops through town the floats stopped in front of the church and everyone disembarked, ready for the food and further festivities that were waiting in the church hall. Everyone was now ready for Ash Wednesday and the forty days of deprivation, knowing they’d had their one last fling.
All the pictures are on our FLICKR PAGE, in the "Carnevale" folder.