Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Martedì Grasso

Martedì Grasso is the Italian version of Marti Gras, or "Fat Tuesday," the last day of Carnevale before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. It's the last chance for Italians to eat, drink and be merry before giving up whatever they give up for Lent.

Most Italian children have 2 sets of costumes, one for outdoors and one for inside. On the left is a shot of my kids--my daughters are dressed as a cow and giraffe that they wore to the parade in Opicinia (see last post). My son is dressed as Prince Charming...he doesn't have an outside costume, which is the beauty of being 14 months old--he has no clue he's missing out on anything. We just bundled him up in his regular clothes since it was freezing outside, and he was none the wiser.
The last two photos were taken at an indoor party for kids. As you can see, my giraffe and cow have both turned into Snow White, accompanied by Prince Charming (although in the last photo, we had to drop the "Charming" part and just call him "Prince").
At indoor Carnevale parties, there's usually a magician, really loud music so no one can hear what the magician is saying, and about 10 pounds of confetti per child. Kids run around wild, fueled by a sugar high from traditional treats like crostoli and frittole (fried pastries), working themselves into a confetti-throwing frenzy while the adults stand around chatting...except for me. It's hard to chat while using your body as a shield so your toddler won't be mowed over by a pack of sugar-crazed 5th grade boys play-fighting each other with balloon swords.
I didn't mind, though--at least it kept me away from the food table...

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