IL CARNEVALE DI SCIACCAThe Carnival of Sciacca Carnival is an event that takes place in Sciacca in Agrigento province. Be the first to speak of it was, in 1889, Giuseppe Pitre who nodded in his work Library of Sicilian folk traditions.
But the origins of the Carnival of Sciacca, a city in the province of Agrigento, dating back to a period much earlier, perhaps Roman times, when the Saturnalia were celebrated, and their king was sacrificed; or better, with more probability, to 1616 when the viceroy Ossuna determined that the last day of celebration everyone had to dress up in costume. To be noted that there is a rivalry with the Carnival of Acireale, though the latter is considered the more beautiful Carnival in Sicily and in the top three at the national level.
The first manifestations are remembered as a popular festival, which were eaten sausage, cannoli and a lot of wine; and the people poured on the streets, disguised in various ways. Subsequently they were the first decorated floats paraded at best, who wore masks on chairs around the narrow streets of the city.
In twenty years will see a large decked platform, pulled by oxen or horses, leading groups in the mask. They recited in the local dialect, followed by small orchestras improvised. The stew, sausages and wine distributed already represented a moment of encounter and exchange between neighbors.
After the war wagons were entitled, and began to make clear reference to the novelty of progress. Streamers and confetti were beginning to be thrown from the wagons on the move, creating a festive atmosphere, which induced people to become participants in the real protagonists of a collective joy. After a few more years, the crowd was delirious rise the first companies magazine, also coming prepared floats increasingly sophisticated themes and characters were referring to local satirical.
By experimenting with sound amplification, the Carnival of Sciacca evolved even more and were put on trucks with larger and larger figures, and whose movements became more and more sophisticated. The local political satire leaving more space characters known to a wider public, or representing current issues related to national interests.
The floats and mini-floats, followed by its masked groups, are designed, engineered and manufactured in the months preceding the festival, involving, from the earliest preparations, several locals.
On the night of Friday is reserved for the last assembly: the wagons are placed in order of parade along the road route of the first citizen and are assembled on site. The people taken by curiosity follows the progress of the work and is confused between the comings and goings of vehicles and personnel taken from the frenzy to finish the work to be sure that everything is working properly in the wagon. In fact, even if they are designed and manufactured in the previous months, the various “pieces” are assembled only in the street and on the night before the parade. Several times in different carristi’ve had to change the bandwagon at the last moment for final assembly problems running the risk of not participating.
Finally comes the day of the beginning of the shows that follow two routes in the historic center of Sciacca. The shows were performed on Saturday (first ride), Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (the second way) the week before the start of Lent.
Currently Carnival starts on Thursday before Lent with the symbolic keys of the town to the King of Carnival Peppe Nappa, a character adapted from Saccensi as local mask that opens and closes the festival. Ends on Shrove Tuesday when the Chariot Peppe Nappa is burned in the square.
The start of the procession of floats, led by the chariot of Peppe Nappa, is from the Piazza Friscia. Since then, the chariot of Peppe Nappa begins to distribute wine and sausages prepared on the grill for the duration of the carnival. Edition of 2011, however, in place of wine, orange juice is distributed to combat the increasingly widespread phenomenon of alcoholism.
The contribution made by the art of Sciacca to the local carnival – for books, music, ballet, models, representations, movements and choreography – has allowed these could compete successfully at national and global level with many other similar event.