March 1, 2019
It is almost Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Carnevale before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. People around the world celebrate their freedom before the traditionally darker times prior to the celebration of Easter. I once attended Carnevale in Aruba. Last year I participated in the family oriented and political one in Viareggio, Tuscany. This year I have chosen a very unusual one, set in the small Piedmonte town of Ivrea.
Ivrea’s Carnevale is the oldest in all of Italy, beginning in the early 1800s. The people of Ivrea have based it on a combination of the history and legend of attaining freedom from the overlord in medieval times. Nearly everywhere in Europe, lands were owned by a Duke, an overlord, a Padrone. The peasants worked the land, paid most of their dues with food and labor and had little for themselves. But the most offensive payment of all was called la prima notte, or first night. The Padrone chose to sleep with every virgin on her wedding night before she could be with her chosen husband. It seemed that no one would ever be able to stop this horrible tradition.
According to legend, the sweet miller’s daughter, known as Violetta, refused la prima notte. She fought back, killed him with her own sword and began a revolution.
This weekend, the people will re-enact their revolution and celebrate their self-determination without shedding blood. Instead, as they honor the Mugnaia representing the honoring of the woman who started it all, the war of the ORANGES will occur. There are many more events, musical, physical, equestrian and general fun and games.
I’ll be there to experience for us all. I am bringing a pair of shoes I can ruin and have been told that I had better buy the traditional red hat or I will be covered in Oranges.
This is just a taste of the excitement happening this weekend. Follow my blog to be sure not to miss the real experience coming to you after Fat Tuesday.
I hope you will celebrate Carnevale this year too. Maybe next year, you can do it in Italy.
Ciao for now!
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Ciao for Now!
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