Dienstag, 16.04.2024 02:21 Uhr

Historic Carnival of Santhià 2024

Verantwortlicher Autor: Maurizio Monge Torino, 19.02.2024, 13:34 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Kunst, Kultur und Musik Bericht 9063x gelesen
One of the allegorical floats
One of the allegorical floats  Bild: Maurizio Monge

Torino [ENA] The week of the 2024 edition of the Historic Carnival of Santhià, a municipality of 8,000 inhabitants in the province of Vercelli, in Piedmont, in northern Italy, ended on Tuesday 13 February with the victory of the float “Pirati 'd risera: la maledissiun dla first buta”.

Santhià is now known throughout Europe as the home of the oldest historical carnival in Italy: the first documents found, in fact, attest to its existence at least as far back as the early years of the year 1000. The organization and management of this fantastic event have always been entrusted to a special "section" of the Santhià Pro Loco Tourist Association called "Antica Società Fagiuolesca". After two years of forced stop due to the covid pandemic and a year of transition, 2023, the Santhià Carnival has returned to its splendour. There were many events this week and many guests who gave prestige to this long and popular carnival event.

The 2024 program began on Saturday 6 January with the procession through the city streets, followed by the presentation of the sketches of the floats and groups that would participate and a tasting of the beans. The highlight of the event is obviously reserved for the carnival period. On Tuesday 6 February at the Palacarvè, a large structure created specifically for the carnival, the celebrations began with the Grand Gala of the Masks and the historical characters of the "Borghi e delle Vie d'Acqua".

During the evening, the "Mascherine 2024" were presented which, as for many years, come from the national beauty competition "Missblumare": after a careful selection, this year the choice fell on two young Piedmontese models: Margherita Rolando from Turin and Erica Vacchiero from Quassolo. Both were the setting for the handover between the 2023 pair of "Stevulin d'la Plisera and Majutin dal Pampardù" and that of those designated for 2024.

On Thursday 8 February the carnival groups organized a food and wine tour in the main street of Santhià, followed by a pleasant evening of dancing and music under the Palacarvè tent. On Saturday 10th the Historical Carnival ceremonial included the delivery of the "Keys to the City" to the two masks Stevulin and Majutin with the intention of entrusting the city to them until the end of the carnival. Stevulin's "Proclamation to the People" from the balcony of the Town Hall was widely followed, despite the pounding rain which made the celebrations difficult. The evening then continued inside the Palacarvè with the offer of a "popular reception" followed by a masked ball.

On Sunday 11th, when the sun finally returned, the great parade of allegorical floats took place, preceded in the morning by a series of particularly significant events. The procession of the city bands reached the railway station where the Gianduja mask symbolically arrived. After loading it into the open car, the mask was taken to the main square and hoisted onto a high pedestal.

All the participants then attended the Holy Mass and at the end, in the council room of the Town Hall, the presentation of certificates and honors took place to the guests of the carnival: Chiara Squaglia, one of the most loved and followed correspondents of the satirical news program "Striscia la Notizia”, Gaetano Triggiano, internationally renowned illusionist magician and Francesca Bergesio, Miss Italy 2023. The first daytime parade, at 2pm on Sunday, saw 21 floats and masked groups parade under the watchful eye of the jury, called to judge the best.

On Monday 12th at 5 in the morning the citizens were awakened by the sound of pipes announcing to everyone the start of the "fagiuolata": the lighting, in the square, of the fires for cooking the beans. At midday, after the blessing and official speeches, 320 waiters distributed 10 quintals of beans and 20 quintals of salami to the population, for a total of 20,000 rations. The official beans lunch, in the multifunctional complex of Santhià, allowed those who had booked and the civil and religious authorities present to taste typical specialties accompanied by excellent wine. At 9pm the night parade with all the floats and masked groups which gave life to a particularly engaging show, followed by thousands of spectators.

Tuesday 22nd, called "Shrove Tuesday", was characterized, in the afternoon, by the third and final masked parade, followed by the proclamation of the winning floats, according to the votes assigned by the jury of experts. The victory went to the float “Pirati 'd risera: la maledissiun dla prima buta”; second place went to “Drops of civilization”; Marsun third with “Mental Turbine: Clowns in Chaos”.

The organizers do not hide their satisfaction, in particular the president Fabrizio Pistono, Alessandro Caprioglio and the artistic director Paolo Bonanni who during the awards ceremony invite masks and the public to meet next year with the Historic Carnival of Santhià 2025.

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