February's Activity: Carnevale di Viareggio


For the month of February, Dela Cruz English Club is celebrating Italy's "Carnevale di Viareggio."

Carnevale di Viareggio, celebrating 138 years of life and activity under the sign of a vivid tradition such as the long-established European tradition of Carnival festivals, is known for its giant, paper maché floats and masks used in parades., usually made of paper-pulp, depicting caricatures of popular people, such as politicians, showmen and sportsmen. The official mascot of the Viareggio carnival is Burlamacco, created by the painter Uberto Bonetti.

Every year, it attracts more than one million spectators gathering to attend the magic of night and day celebrations, with floats, parades, district celebrations, masked dances and shows of every kind.
In 2011, the usual five carnival masked parades are planned for February 20th , 27th and March 6th- 8th 13th , on the extraordinary Liberty style staging along the seaside avenues of Viareggio. The parade will also include folklore bands and performers from all over the world. The biggest floats will carry about 200 people in costume who will dance and throw confetti and candies. Other people will be inside the floats to manoeuvre the weights, the counter-weights and levers that will make the puppets move. The paper maché puppets satirise public and political figures, depict social issues, as well as the fairy-tales’ heroes. Noteworthy is the programme of related events including a large number of shows and cultural events such as fun musical comedies in vernacular, a series of carnival menus available in the restaurants of the area, festivals in the various town neighbourhoods, as well as numerous masked balls held in the most fashionable discotheques and ballrooms.

The first Viareggio carnival parade was held in 1873, when some wealthy middle-class men decided to organize a parade of floats adorned with flowers; a number of local citizens, as a sign of protest, then decided to put on masks in order to show their refusal of high taxes they were forced to pay.



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