Among the many schemes typical of this period of the year, those that stand out are the Carnival celebrations in Piedmont, whose high points are usually on Thursday and Shrove Tuesday, i.e. the last Thursday and the last Tuesday before the beginning of Lent. The numerous events range from traditional carnivals originating with the rites of the end of the winter, a deeply rooted heritage of country and mountain folk society, to the most recent ones, often allegorical, which offer historical re-enactments where history and legend mingle and become one.
The traditional carnivals have ancient origins, which are lost in the mists of time. The content and the characters that characterize them are of archaic origin: the mythical figure of and animal or wild man with animal-like features. From the Ballo del Orso (Dance of the Bear) or Fora l'Ours (Bear Festival) of Mompantero (Prov. of Turin) the first weekend of February, to the Orso di Segale (Rye Bear) of Valdieri (Prov. of Cuneo), from 23-24 February 2019, the Carnival of Lajetto, (3 March 2019) a small village above Condove (Prov. of Turin), the common denominator is always the bond with the land, the end of the winter, celebrated by the rural community with a rite of fertility and rebirth.
At Rocca Grimalda (Prov. of Alessandria) a festival known as the Lachera still survives. It features a nuptial train with characters armed with swords and originating from the ancient propitiatory rites of spring: popular calendar feasts absorbing epic and social content over the centuries. Every year the traditional collection in the farmhouses of the territory takes place, followed by the final parade with evocative dancing around bonfires (23-24 February).
Something of ancient origin is the Historic Carnival of Santhià (Prov. of Vercelli) (26 February - 5 March 2019), with origins are lost in the 14th century. The country folk and newlyweds Stevulin 'dthe Plissera and Majutin dal Panperdu' are the traditional characters, while the cherry on the cake of the festival is the Colossale Fagiuolata (food and wine feast based mainly on beans) on Monday 4 March.
Something you must not miss is the Historic Carnival of Ivrea (Prov. of Turin) (2 - 5 March): a unique event that has its roots in the fairytale expulsion of the tyrant that starved that the city of Ivrea. The main event is the famous Battle of Oranges, three days of great involvement and excitement starting from Sunday 11 February 2019. Not far from Ivrea, do not miss the Historic Carnival of Montalto Dora: an old folk tradition that involves the entire town with the historical parade (24 February) and the traditional culinary events.
Also for the city of Chivasso (Prov. of Turin) (13 February - 7 March), the Carnevalone (big carnival) is an exciting moment that begins in the early days of the new year and culminates with the final event on the first Sunday of Lent. The celebrations range from the historical commemoration of the investiture of the Abbà (a carnival character) to the coronation of the Bela Tolera (another character), ambassador of the city and a true Queen of the Carnival if Chivasso.
The Carnival of Borgosesia Vc (1 February - 6 March), between allegorical floats and masked parades, is distinguished by the Mercu Scûrot, "Dark Wednesday", the most traditional event with thousands of participants all strictly in tailcoats and top hats, "lamenting" the end of the carnival.