Fano (PU) February 1st/8th/15th
Dear friends, every year on February any city in Italy is invaded with masks, confetti, colors and lights creating a very exciting atmosphere: it’s the Italian Carnival! This event has ancient roots, and today has become a folkloristic rite in which traditions and fun work together.
Discovermarche stopped in Fano, in the province of Pesaro-Urbino, to celebrate this incredible party! The Fano Carnival is so special and has an historical record: it is actually the oldest in Italy, with a tradition of over 600 years!
The first documented event dates back to 1347, on the occasion of peace between two rival families of the city. So, even today, the original features of this celebration are truly authentic and belong to the popular memory.
For the inhabitants of Fano, their Carnival does not only happen during a limited time of the year: it is a real job that requires dedication and patience on 365 days.
The masters work with passion and devotion to the preparation of the large floats for the parade: their works can be considered real masterpieces!According to tradition, on Sunday afternoon, these gigantic bloated caricatures parade one after another, up and down along the main Gramsci street.
The parade ends with a final round, the so-called “luminaria”. When the night comes the floats start lighting up and create spectacular tricks of light and colors.
Children are the real protagonists of this party, which is also famous for the ‘Jet’: a traditional throw of sweets (ancient symbol of good luck) that literally rains down from the masked floats while making its way down the streets of the old town.
A real ‘storm’ (almost 200 tons!) of candies, chocolates and other delicacies, which soon become the booty of their greedy audience.
The burning of the ‘Pupo’ (also called ‘Vulon’) marks the end of the Carnival on the day of Mardi Gras.
The papier-mache puppet is burnt under the eyes of thousands of people and has a strong emotional impact on the audience. According to an ancient popular belief this practice was needed to take winter season away together with sins of the people.
All parades have a quite unusual background music. Cowbells, cans, jugs, bottles … they all become ‘instruments’ of a colourful band playing the so called ‘Musica Arabita’ (aka ‘angry music’), a tradition dating back to the early 9th century. The people of Fano amused themselves using these poor tools and inventing their own music to ape the aristocratic salons!
Today the Carnival of Fano gathers together about 100,000 visitors and has become part of the popular culture. It is considered heritage of the city and is also the largest Carnival event in all Le Marche region.
Ever ancient and yet ever new, the Carnival of Fano never fails to surprise you! Find out more about it by visiting the official website: http://www.carnevaledifano.eu or download the App ‘Carnival of Fano’ (available on the Apple Store and Google Play).
And then…Just have fun guys!!!