Friday, February 20, 2004

Carnevale in Siena (by Doreen)

SIENA (#29)

We ventured out for a subdued, yet representative day at Carnevale. My take is that Carnevale is celebrated from Feb 1 through Mardi Gras (24 feb, this year). We thought about going to Venice or to Via Reggio (near Pisa, on the Mediterranean coast) where a bigger celebration with 4 story high floats...

Instead, we went to Buon Convento, about 25 minutes away from Siena.

Buon Convento has been having a celebration for many years always swearing they won’t next. But they did it again this year. It started around 3pm. There was a band (of all types, shapes and ages) that played “Brazil,” and other Carnevale numbers from Rio.

There were 3 floats. One was a Pirate Ship, another of The Lion King, and the third, a Japanese Pagoda (complete with younger and later middle aged Italian women dressed in Saris scampering about in lines). The teenagers on the Pirate Ship had a loud speaker system blaring YMCA, the Macarena and some Chihuahua song (that Laura was surprised we hadn’t heard). Throughout the parade, kids threw confetti at each other and sprayed everyone with silly string.

Not much that I could associate with what I expect happens in Venice, including the costumes. No masks of the Commedia D’el Arte. Mostly Zorro (with swords drawn), Batman, Superman, Caspar, tigers, princesses,1 Mary Poppins, dinosaurs, cross-dressed teenage boys and 1 Wild Thing character. Very cute. Especially Giulia in her leopard costume.

We had talked about going to a bigger Mardi Gras (Martedi Grasso) or Jovedi Grasso (Fat Thursday) celebration…but after today, may just pass. I’m not quite ready for the kids to see what I read about Carnevale in Venice according to Erica Jong.

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