This weekend was the peak of Carnival festivities. The Carnival "season" begins January 7 and then continues until Fat Tuesday, the day before the beginning of Lent. This can be a longer or shorter period of time depending on when Easter falls each year.
During the entire season you will see children out and about dressed up in costumes as princesses, animals, popular cartoon characters, Zorro, etc. They run around city parks throwing confetti and streamers and spraying colored goop and stink bombs. For an American like me, it seems like a fantastic, extended Halloween.
These last few days of Carnival are celebrated around Italy with parades including elaborate floats, often with themes of political satire, and costumed groups that may sing and/or dance. There are also carnival balls, usually organised for children, but not only. One of the largest and oldest Carnival celebrations in Italy is held in Putignano, right here in Apulia.
Since I have low tolerance for both crowds and cold weather (two essential elements of outdoor Carnival events), I organised a party at home this year. King Henry is featured in the photo above, if you'd like to see the rest of us, check out my blog Amid the Olive Trees (on side bar).
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