Buona sera a tutti! With memories of Christmas fading fast and the mountainous supply of panettone finally coming to an end, this can only mean one thing ....... it's Carnival time!! Carnevale in Italy is one of the year's biggest celebrations and towns throughout the peninsula come alive with music, parades and concerts. The word 'Carnevale' is thought to originate from the Latin words 'carnem levare' which literally mean 'to take away the meat', and this highlights the true reason for the festival which is to enjoy a final party before the restrictions of Lent.
Many towns, such as Venice, celebrate 'Carnevale' in February but, this year, the most famous carnival in Sicily will commence on Saturday 26th January in Acireale. On this day there will be a spectacular inaugural parade around the town at 5pm and then, until the 12th February, Acireale will be a flurry of amazing colours, embellished floats and, of course, mouth-watering Sicilian delicacies. The floats are enormous decorated platforms made by residents of the town and are judged throughout the competition for their design and originality. The winners will be announced at 11pm on the final day.
Other towns in Sicily which are renowned for their spectacular carnivals are Misterbianco, in the province of Catania, Sciacca in Agrigento and Termini Imerese in Palermo.
You can read more about the origins of 'Carnevale' on my carnival blog post from last year at http://sicilianconnections.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/la-vita-e-un-carnevale.html.
For a taste of what you can expect from the 'Carnevale di Acireale' enjoy this video of one of last year's finalists -
Buon Carnevale a tutti! I hope you get the chance to enjoy carnival time wherever you are in the world. Be sure to share your photos and stories with us as always.
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