Sant'Eraclio Sardinia Carnevale Season - 2014

Sardinia Carnevale Season - 2014

Let's go to Carnevale in Sardinia this season...

Juvanne Martis, Sardinia

Juvanne Martis Sardinia in carnival ecstasy

Johnny Tuesday Night and friend.

It doesn't matter whether you call it Carnival, Carnevale, or Mardi Gras. There's nothing like a Carnival celebration to help banish those winter blues. Italy is one of the best places to view and participate in a Carnevale vacation. Everywhere you will find Carnevale masks, costumes, allegorical floats, special food and wine. And interestingly enough, each Italian region does Carnevale differently. What are you waiting for?

This fabulous celebration occurs on the Tuesday 40 days before Easter so the date varies. Carnevale 2014 is on March 4, Carnevale 2015 is on February 17, but Carnevale season starts earlier. Plan your Italian holidays now. Keep reading.

The island of Sardinia to the west of the Italian mainland (itís southwest of Rome) is among the most traditional regions of Italy and in fact of all Europe. So itís no surprise that this lovely region boasts a wide variety of spectacular Carnevales. Letís look at a few of them remembering that "once a year, you're allowed to go crazy" or as they said in Latin semel in anno licet insanire. †

The village of Mamoiada home to about 2500 is located some 70 miles (110 kilometers) north of Cagliari, the regional capital on the coast of southern Sardinia. Carnevale here focuses on the parade of Juvanne Martis Sero (Johnny Tuesday Night). In this allegory Carnevale is dying while mourned by the numerous onlookers. In this event Tuesday refers to Shrove Tuesday and not Mardi Gras. Other Carnevale activities feature Mamutthones and Issohadores who are part man and part beast, evoking the time when animals ruled the earth. Mamoiadaís recently opened Mediterranean Mask Museum traces the history of local carnivals.

Sartiglia Sardinia in carnival glory

Sartiglia Castrovillari, Sardinia, Italy Carnevale.

Oristano is a city of over thirty thousand located about 60 miles (95 kilometers) northwest of Cagliari on the western coast. It is home to La Sartiglia, a jousting tournament in which smartly dressed componidori (jockeys, or should I say knights?) riding richly decorated horses compete while standing in the saddle try to pierce silver stars, the more the merrier, with their swords. This ceremony has been going on for centuries. As with many other Carnivale manifestations, there is a mixture of Christian and pagan aspects.

Tempio Pausania, a town of some fourteen thousand in northeastern Sardinia, hosts a Carnevale whose central feature is a parade of floats in which ďHis Majesty GiorgioĒ is the undisputed king. Giorgioís mask sits on a throne for six days to the cheering of the crowds. But on Shrove Tuesday at sunset King Giorgio is put on trial for multiple crimes and misdemeanors and is burnt at the stake in the public square in front of forty to fifty thousand spectators. This Tempio Pausania Carnevale is no minor production and is a great way to symbolize the end of winter. Just so people donít get bored first loving then hating Giorgio, there are six nights of pre-trial parties and other festivities including activities for children. The trial theme is popular at Sardinian Carnevales. For example, in the town of Bosa, population eight thousand about two-thirds up the western coast, rag dolls are put on trial and burnt at the stake. And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine local wines.

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.

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