No Comments

Carnival – Baccanale 2019

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

2nd March and its Baccanale time in Barga.

This afternoon the streets of Barga were full of masked figures running around having a very noisy good time … and most of these figures seemed to be under 1 meter 20 tall .. yep, it was the Carnevalino dei bambini – Carnival for small children (article here

The streets were carpeted with confetti, shouts, laughter and (screams) fill the air as the children of the area let loose and enjoy the carnival.

This evening it was the time for the adults to let their hair down as the Baccanale 2019 was in full swing.


The Bacchanalia were Roman festivals of Bacchus based on various ecstatic elements of the Greek Dionysia. They seem to have been popular and well-organised throughout the central and southern Italian peninsula. They were almost certainly associated with Rome’s native cult of Liber, and probably arrived in Rome itself around 200 BC. However, like all mystery religions of the ancient world, very little is known of their rites.

In modern usage, bacchanalia can mean any uninhibited or drunken revelry. The bacchanal in art describes any small group of revellers, often including satyrs and perhaps Bacchus or Silenus, usually in a landscape setting. The subject was popular from the Renaissance onwards, and usually included a large degree of nudity among the figures.

Bacco (Dionisio per i Greci) era il dio romano della vegetazione,

presiedeva alla coltivazione della viea e del vino e, per taluni aspetti, si riallacciava alla forza naturale dell’acqua, in stretta unione con le ninfe. Dio del vino, della vendemmia, del lasciarsi andare, dell’orgia panica e dell’ebrezza, perpetuamente giovane, la diffusione del suo culto a Roma,  con i Baccanali,  avvenne intorno al II secolo a.C. Analogamente al culto di Dioniso in Grecia, da cui deriva, si trattava di un culto misterico, ossia riservato ai soli iniziati (originariamente solo donne, le baccanti) con finalità mistiche – source

Carnival (often spelled Carnaval) is a festive season which occurs immediately before Lent; the main events are usually during February. Carnival typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party.

People often dress up or masquerade during the celebrations, which mark an overturning of daily life. In Germany and the Netherlands, the Carnival season is traditionally opened on 11/11 (often at 11:11 a.m.). This dates back to celebrations before the former longer Advent season (40 days now reduced to about four weeks), or with harvest celebrations of St. Martin’s Day.

The Lenten period of the Liturgical year Church calendar, being the six weeks directly before Easter, was marked by fasting and other pious or penitential practices. Traditionally during Lent, no parties or other celebrations were held, and people refrained from eating rich foods, such as meat, dairy, fats and sugar.

The forty days of Lent, recalling the Gospel accounts of the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, serve to mark an annual time of turning. In the days before Lent, all rich food and drink had to be disposed of. The consumption of this, in a giant party that involved the whole community, is thought to be the origin of Carnival.

While it forms an integral part of the Christian calendar, particularly in Catholic regions, many carnival traditions date back to pre-Christian times. The Italian Carnival may be derived from the ancient Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Bacchanalia. The Saturnalia, in turn, may be based on the Greek Dionysia and Oriental festivals. While medieval pageants and festivals such as Corpus Christi were church-sanctioned celebrations, carnival was also a manifestation of medieval folk culture. Many local carnival customs are based on local pre-Christian rituals, for example the elaborate rites involving masked figures in the Swabian–Alemannic Fastnacht.

Some of the best-known traditions, including carnival parades and masquerade ball masquerading, were first recorded in medieval Italy. The carnival of Venice was, for a long time, the most famous carnival. From Italy, carnival traditions spread to the Catholic nations of Spain, Portugal, and France. From France, they spread to the Rhineland of Germany, and to New France in North America. From Spain and Portugal, they spread with Catholic colonization to the Caribbean and Latin America.

Carnival in Barga: 2017 |  2016 |  2015 |  2014 |  2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2008 | 2007 |


Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Notify of