Sunday, January 27, 2008

Carnevale: in Catholic Italy...

For most Americans, carnevale is just a crazy Mardi Gras party in New Orleans, Louisiana. For many Europeans, it's that plus another crazy parade in Rio de Janeiro. In fact, I never even knew what it truly was (or was truly meant to be) until I moved to Italy.

For Italians, it's a lovely family event (the season of festival before Lent). On these last few weekends before Ash Wednesday all the little kids wear colorful costumes and celebrate in the public squares with their parents. It would be nice if homeschooling parents could bring some of this Catholic culture back to the New World.

Yesterday, I made the mistake of forgetting and walking into the mix of it all in the central piazza of the resort town of Ladispoli, near Rome. All of the kids, each like a wild terrier, was trying their best to throw and spray paper and aerosol confetti on each other, on parents, etc. I wanted to slap each brat and take the confetti away.

I haven't watched TV since 1997, but having a nasty cold these past days I just turned on the TV tonight and watched some old 1940s/1950s cartoons of Donald Duck, Pluto, Tom and Jerry, etc. The devil never rests: these cartoons were really violent and not for kids - or adults. Like my own mother once taught me: "Kids don't need that kind of stress."

My roommate says boiled whisky is good for a bad cold. I tried some Catholic Jagermeister, but that didn't help (too much sugar as an l'amaro dolce).


Anonymous said...

For many Europeans, it's that plus another crazy parade in Rio de Janeiro.

Um, actually carnival exists in practically all Catholic parts of Europe, and all Europeans are aware of that.

In the Catholic parts of Germany and Austria, Karneval/Fasching is huge, and there will be celebrations with costumes in schools even in the protestant areas.

Anonymous said...

Carnival is a clean family event even in New Orleans, mostly.

Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

Not boiled whisky !

Try a generous measure of (single malt) whisky in boiled water with honey ad libitum and a dash of lemon.

If you're not allergic, old fashioned aspirin is an excellent anti-pyretic.

Avoid anti-histamines !

Anonymous said...

John, try lemons from the Ang garden.