Carnival is the event of the year dedicated to happiness and light-heartedness. In the Italian tradition it has very ancient roots. Each city of our peninsula has a particular history linked to this holiday. And it is a real struggle between those who boast ancient traditions and claim recognition. In Sicily, then, there is a long history related to Carnival. One of the most visited places during this event is in the province of Catania. The Carnival of Acireale boasts of being considered “The most beautiful Carnival in Sicily”. And it is undoubtedly an eagerly awaited appointment.
The history of the Carnival of Acireale
The Carnival of Acireale has a long tradition. It would even date back to 1500 but it was rediscovered in the modern age. In 1700 some masks appeared which made fun of the various social classes. And then again in the nineteenth century, when the popular dances in Piazza Duomo and the cremation ceremony of Carnival began, a custom still alive today. In the 21st century the parade of floats of the nobles was carried out. They threw multicolored sugared almonds to the people. While the construction of the first papier-mache floats dates back to 1880.
Up to the present day Acireale has kept this tradition. There are numerous construction sites carried out by artisans who have created increasingly well-kept floats. Since the seventies of the last century, Carnival has become increasingly important. Carnival floats have become increasingly sophisticated and colorful, like the beautiful and majestic flower arrangements. And it is in 1996 that Acireale, for the first time, has the national lottery together with Viareggio and Putignano.
The Carnival of Acireale lasts three Sundays
Anyone wishing to go and admire the Carnival floats is spoiled for choice. Because since it is one of the most beautiful and awaited events, Acireale is a really long Carnival. The workers who prepare allegorical floats with the ancient art of papier-mache have been working for months. And, in fact, there are many visitors who take advantage of the various Sundays to travel to this city and attend the shows. And there is something for all tastes and for all ages.
It started on February 8th. There was the inauguration of the Food Village, with Chef Natale Giunta of “La Prova del Cuoco” and Valeria Raciti, winner of MasterChef Italia 2019. In the afternoon there was the inauguration of the shows, Carnival floats miniature, The Carnival – Switch on art, postcards and then the exhibition of flaots. In Piazza Duomo the mayor of Acireale delivered the key of the city to the Carnival Godmother, Giulia Arena, Miss Italy 2013 and protagonist of the soap opera “Il Paradiso delle Signore” on Rai 1. And then the great opening parade, the official presentation and the parade of the eight allegorical-grotesque floats. And then shows and music until the evening. Sunday shows and music too.
The second weekend
But it doesn’t stop there on the first Sunday. Carnival continues on Friday 14th. And again parades and exhibitions on Saturday and Sunday. Space also for the comic fair and art exhibition on the Sicilian cart. On sunday morning from 9 there will be the Trophy of the Carnival road race “Running for Aci”. Fun returns on Wednesday 19th with a dance show of the dance schools of the village. On thursday 20th, Shrove Thursday, there will be the parade of masked schools and tribute to Disney music for a moment dedicated to children, with the participation of Giorgio Vanni and the theme songs of cartoons.
The third Sunday of Carnival
The last days, starting from February 22, there will be other carnival floats shows and parades. In the afternoon, the floats decorated with flowers will parade. In the evening Daria Biancardi in concert. On Sunday and Monday parades and music again. The grand finale will be on Tuesday with the closing and awarding of competitions.
Not only floats and groups: the collateral events at the parades
For those who reach Acireale there will be the opportunity to also admire miniature flaots from 8 to 25 February by the Cultural Association Gruppo Liberi Artisti – Corso Umberto, 114 / A. And then the eighteenth team chess championship “Carnival Trophy 2020 City of Acireale”. On monday, February 24 at 4 pm at the Frecce Tricolore Club – Via A. Raffaele, 4. Afterwards, there will be an exhibition of the sketches of the Carnival Floats XXII exhibition on the Carnival.
A drawing on a postcard competition by the Acese Philatelic Numismatic Association and a commemorative postmark are also scheduled. On sunday 9th, instead, the Rally Motor Show Carnival Trophy in Tupparello area took place. And then the confetti factory, a journey into the transformation of white paper into colored confetti, at the Massimino Typography – via Cavour, 50. Cultural meetings are also scheduled at the Pinella Musmeci Hall – Villa Belvedere from 10 to 14 February.
Images are taken from the official Facebook page of the Carnival of Acireale