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12 February 2013

The Italian Carnevale (Mardi Gras) 2013


In time with the conclusion of the Carnevale (Mardi Gras) parade, we also used up the last of the 5 bags of coriandoli (confetti) and stelle filanti (streamers) that had been stashed in my bag and our coat pockets the whole weekend.  For four (and going on the fifth) whole days, I had been vacuuming the house like crazy, trying to get rid of the coriandoli that found their way literally everywhere.   On our beds, in our shoes, our clothes, in the bathrooms, on the kitchen counter, in the fruit basket, in the fridge (What the heck?), just everywhere!  When we peel away our layers of clothing, there's an avalanche of more coriandoli!  The amount is overwhelming that walking around with a vacuum cleaner close at my heels doesn't seem to be enough.  


The street cleaners shouldn't be happy at all.  And I always think of the same thing every single year. It takes months to see the last trace of coriandoli on the ground.  And every single year that passes, it seems that the amount of coriandoli is multiplying too.  Just after the Sunday parade finished, the whole stretch of road where the floaters passed seemed to have gone through a big blizzard.  It was all white!  And we were also all white with small strands of colored foam dangling from our coats and hair.  And Saturday at the mall wasn't any different either.  But that was how everyone looked like.  It was the fad of the weekend.    



The main rule is, if you see someone, a little child or an adult carrying a bag of coriandoli sporting  a vicious smile, run away!  Don't underestimate those punched paper confetti because believe me, they can do a 5-second damage to your consciousness.  My husband was attacked by a toddler with a muscled arm like Popeye's after his nonna (grandmother) told him to throw some coriandoli at Zio Gianni (Uncle Gianni).  Next thing my husband knew, he was inside a white cloud of coriandoli thrown with such force that after it cleared up, there was a little boy smiling guiltily at him and the nonna telling him, "Errr, that's not Zio Gianni!"   


I myself was attacked by a "deliriously" happy man carrying a gigantic bag of coriandoli.  Since I was so immersed in taking pictures, I didn't notice the people slowly clearing up beside me until it was too late for me and my camera.  Ka-boom!  I didn't know what hit me until the white cloud cleared up and the deliriously happy man was smiling in front of me.  Sheesh!   


The funniest thing of all is that even the police did not have "confetti immunity". The first car escorting the floaters was a sight to behold.    The confetti and foam attackers are all kids, or rather the ones confident enough to give the big guys angelic smiles and get away with their antics.   










Well, another year has come and gone.  Today is the last of the last of the festivities.  Today is Martedi Grasso (Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras) My daughter came home with a painted face and shirt from school.  They just had their own celebration in class with candies, cookies, cakes and chips.  Me?  I'm still vacuuming around the house getting rid of the remaining confetti.  I can't wait for next year again.  "Insert sounds of excitement here."  Sigh.


If you click on this link here, you will go to my Carnevale post from a couple of years ago detailing the story about the Carnevale (Mardi Gras).  It can be an interesting read to know more about the real meaning and history of this festival.  

Happy Fat Tuesday to all of you!