ITALY (eTN) – People are looking for distractions and a way to shake off their worries born by the austerity imposed by the Stability Pact. The Stability Pact was the first serious attempt by the international community to replace the previous, reactive crisis intervention policy in South Eastern Europe with a comprehensive, long-term conflict prevention strategy.
The answer for many lays in carnival festivities, which must not die. Masks and papier-mâché creations animate Italy, in a cocktail of post-Berlusconi satire and tradition. There is a crisis, but the carnival does not die. At the very least, as the saying goes, “a laugh will bury us.”
In Sicily, the carnival chariots have chosen the subject related to the economic crisis, the Mafia, cartoons, and video games: they are the themes of the 2012 edition of the carnival floats in Termini Imerese, (Palermo district, Sicily) from February 12 to 21. A jury will evaluate the best subject and its realization technique with the saying: “Vivemuci ri supra” (in Sicilian dialect: let’s drink on it”), referring to the chariot that played down the crisis, with Prime Minister Monti astride a wine barrel.
In Sciacca, the scene is the funeral of the carnival. The initiative was announced by a group of artisans. With lots of papier-mâché coffins, a mock funeral procession will march to protest against the Council’s decision not to organize the 2012 edition of the costume party for the lack of public funds Ten wagons’ allegorical grotesque papier-mâché floats will be adorned with flowers, and seven are the protagonists of the Carnival of Acireale (CT), February 4 to 21.
The fees collected go to the Carnival of Viareggio, with its first wagon dedicated to Equitalia – the Italian public company charged with the collection of national taxes. For the floats, the Inland Revenue takes the form of a bleak and shabby castle protected by bats (taxes), where the IRS has the appearance of Dracula. The chariot of Equitalia is titled, “Abandon all hope ye who enter the Agency (the tax collector being the Agency).
The fashion shows are scheduled for February 5, 12, 19, 21, 26, and March 3.
Puglia (Apulia) is a vessel of cardboard ghosts named: spreads, bunds, default, fear of contagion. It’s just one of the floats as it prepares to take off to the Carnival of Putignano (Bari), now in its 618th edition.
There are four days – February 5, 12, 19 and 2 – in which the main avenue and the historic center of the city will be invaded by color, music, and traditions.
From the great parades of masks to pageants, through the events of the tradition, such as the Angel’s flight and the feast of the Marie, dances, and live music, the heart of the Carnival of Venice is the Grand Theatre in Piazza San Marco, the stage built on the model of the VIIIth-century theatre where the public can attend performances and concerts from February 11 to 21.
The fourth edition of the Roman Carnival is scheduled from February 11 to 21. The streets and squares of the capital will host performances of commedia dell’ Arte (the Comedy of Art), baroque fireworks, parades, exhibitions, and activities for children. According to tradition, the event is the heart of equestrian art, in homage to the main event of the Carnival Renaissance – the Berber horse race, which took place in the Via del Corso. The horse show is held in Piazza del Popolo.