Acireale 07/02 – 10/02/2016
After Three months of not staying on a site we end doing two in a row, much to the annoyance of my wallet. Anyway this stay is forgivable as it the closest place to stay in order to visit the Acireale Carnival. Correct, we had never heard of it before either. This is the one of the top 5 Carnivals in Italy and if state-of-the-art monster floats are your thing than this is the best not in Sicily, not in Italy, but Europe. Fact.
So we will give you a few facts about the Carnival and then give you the pictures. We have also loaded a video up on You Tube at great expense so please take time to have a look as you only get to appreciate this spectacle with the moving image. If a visit to this place is not on your bucket list then it should be.
The origins of the word ‘Carnevale’ derive from the Latin words:
Carnem levare – ‘Take away the meat’
These refer to the period preceding the beginning of Lent, the 40 days during which Roman Catholics abstain from eating meat.
Birth of the Allegorical Floats in Acireale
The idea of the first allegorical floats was developed under Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503). Sicily saw its first allegorical float in March of 1601 in Palermo. The float resembled Neptune (god of the Sea), and had people dressed up as sirens dancing around it. In Acireale, although the use of papier-Mache was widely used for the realization of sanctuary statues, the first float isn’t seen for a whole century afterwards. This occurred thanks to local artisans of whom Sebastiano Longo (1839-1912) was one of, he began working with papier-Mache with the intention of creating the first allegorical float around 1880. From then on into the last century many groups of artisans have entered the float making competition, and have given life to the Acireale Carnival allowing it to carry the title of “the most beautiful carnival in Sicily”.
The masks generally used and seen on the floats are of a satirical nature and appear as caricatures of famous people, which include known politicians, actors, musicians and artists, sports stars, fictional characters and other celebrities. These masks originated around the middle of the 16th century resembled the people who controlled the Italian political and economic environment; they were designed so they would be seen as comical and ridiculous in the eyes of the general public.
Today, the carnival stays true to its origins, with the masks, the floats, and the overall feeling of fun and partying. In older times people used to throw eggs or vegetables at each other and at things as part of the celebration. Today, people throw the “lighter” confetti (pieces of paper cut up from old newspapers or random coloured paper). Foam spraying has also become a sort of “sport”. The floats today not only have vivid colours and shapes but also use an advanced system of lighting that brings more life to the floats.
Now for the Videos and Pictures:
Click on this link to watch Video Acireale Video Carnival
With hair that colour why would you dye your beard Ginger?
The string gets everywhere
No idea who they are
Man with Money
They are quite big – this is one in reduced transport mode
The Idiot Merkel.
Charlie Chaplin and someone else
Ice Queen close-up
All the float-nearly
How big is that?
Mother Nature in full flow
Mother Nature Close-up
Mother Nature and Monkey
We hope you enjoyed the visuals as much as we did. The only downside to the carnival is the bits of confetti you find for the next few days.
Love to all
E & T