Carnival, in Sicily, has been celebrated for four centuries.
Yes, starting from the seventeenth century, in the region, the end of the period of the “carnem levare” linked to the Catholic tradition began to be celebrated.
As the years went by, the celebrations became glitzy, fun and colorful. Before, they even lasted a whole month, but after the terrible earthquake of 1693, they were reduced to about a week. Five days, starting on Shrove Thursday (and therefore ending on the following Shrove Tuesday) in which every joke is worth.
In the region, there are three cities with the most particular and recognized celebrations throughout the nation: Sciacca, Acireale and Mezzojuso (in the province of Palermo). There were historical moments in which people and nobles even celebrated together and moments in which even King Ferdinand II of Bourbon, in 1802, took part in the party.
The patronal carriages in the parade were inevitable, like the typical masks: the “Jardinara” and the “Varca”, famous in the province of Palermo, the “brigands” and that of the “cavallacciu”, in the Catanese area. The “dutturi”, the “baruni” and “abbati” among the masks representing the social classes, then the “Vecchia di li fusa”, in the county of Modica and the “Nzunzieddu”, with their faces dirty with smoke and red soil. Let’s not forget the lazy Peppe Nnappa!
Carnival represents an important food and wine moment. Traditions are kept alive and tied to the past, adding a piece of “family” to the typical recipes.
Ten are the most popular traditional desserts:
- the chiacchere
- stuffed chiacchere
- the pignolata messinese
- the pignolata with honey
- the sfinci
- the sfinci of rice
- fried donuts
- the cuddureddri of Carnival
- fraviole with ricotta
- Turkish heads (from Castelbuono)
In short, there are a thousand reasons to come to Sicily, today we have only given you one more (or maybe ten!).