Italian Carnivals – a great way to amuse and fascinate yourself

February 22nd, 2015 got to know that Italian Post issued two stamps to mark the most famous carnivals - Sciacca and Putignano Carnivals. The items were released on the 6th of February and are now available for purchasing.

Putignano Carnival is considered one of the main carnivals of Italy, is famous for the spectacular parade of papier-mâché floats. It is also the oldest (dated from 1394) and longest Italian carnival. It starts the day after Christmas and finishes the day before the Ash Wednesday. There are four Carnival parades; on the last three Sundays running up to lent and one in the evening of the last day of carnival (shrove Tuesday). In the last ten years the carnival has become famous thanks to the enormous floats, the original satirical masks and the colorful masked groups.

The origins of Sciacca Carnival date back to the first years of the twelfth century. The festival, prepared a lot of months in advance, represents a moment of amusement and aggregation for the whole town. The most characteristic feature of carnival is its popularity in fact, many people coming from the near towns don't miss the festive climate. The construction of the allegorical paper floats begins in the months preceding the feast thanks to the active cooperation of the builders.

Carnival starts on Thursday before Lent with the symbolic delivery of the keys of the city into the hands of the king of Carnival: Peppi Nappa. The masked groups, with their choreographies invite all the people to dance and enjoy the feast. The parade lasts all night and it culminates with the performance of satirical prompt copies in the main square.

The feast finishes on late Tuesday night with Peppe Nappa's stake. All the whistles and hammers are thrown in the fire and all the euphoria of the previous day’s burns with the king.

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