Confetti, masks, allegorical floats, parades, music, sweets: the Carnival is arrived in Parma.
Between parties for adults and children, traditional and modern masks, the tradition of Carnival is repeated every year in an atmosphere of great participation and suggestion that involves the city and the province in a succession of events and manifestations.
The Carnival in Parma and Province: tradition and fun
Protagonist of the Parmesan Carnival is the typical mask of the city “Al Dsèvod” , literally “the insipid”. This mask wears the colors of the city, yellow and blue, and represents a typical character of the Commedia dell’Arte: the astute populace who pretends stupid to be able to get away with it. “Al Dsèvod” will also be the president of the jury that will elect the most beautiful mask after the parade of allegorical floats through the streets of the historic center and the Oltretorrente in Parma, Sunday 11 February. The floats are also the protagonists of the famous Carnevale di Busseto, now in its one 137° edition, which animates the capital of the Bassa Parmense for four Sundays, involving children and adults in a historic event.
Even the high Taro Valley is getting ready for the Carnival: in Borgotaro a structure has been set up to accommodate the masks in the traditional evening dance with music; the traditional parade of groups and allegorical floats as usual will animate the streets of the town on Sunday 11.
In Parma the Carnival is celebrated … and tasted!
Carnival is also an occasion to consume rich meals and to go a little further in the diet in view of the imminent Lent, perhaps that is why the typical recipes of the carnival period are mainly sweet.
Unmissable on the tables of the Parmesans but also in restaurants, delis, bakeries and pastries are the chiacchere. These very thin and crisp loaves of puff pastry, called in other areas of Italy bugie, frappe, cenci are fried in oil and then sprinkled with icing sugar: irresistible and loved by everyone. Another typical preparation of the Carnival are the sweet tortelli filled with jam: small caskets that typically contain “brusca” jam (of plums) while some variants include the addition of walnuts, amaretti, dried fruit.
Even these tortelli can be found in the delicatessen shops and patisseries of Parma, excellent to combine with a good coffee or, why not, a glass of Malvasia. In this period you can also find the castagnole, balls of simple or stuffed fried pasta, and the short pastry masks, biscuits covered with icing and sugar reminiscent of the shoes of Sant’Ilario.