Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Death of Carnival

The weather was perfect last night and as warm as it has been since we arrived two weeks ago. I also felt better than I had felt in many days, and was looking forward to how the day would end. Angela's father had told me at lunch that it would be forty days of fish after today and we both laughed.

Putignano - Carnevale - KISS and more KISSCarnival ended yesterday and we (Angela, Saverio, Marina and me) dressed up like the rock band KISS so we could join the parade. Well, we dressed up as much as possible for only preparing a few hours before the parade start and otherwise not being rockers, lacking essential studded leather accoutrement. The makeup we applied did more for us than what we were wearing. We walked the parade route, which is a circuit around the old part of the city, and then followed a small rolling stage which featured 1970's music impersonators, part of the reason we had chosen our costumes. We thought we would be the only people dressed this way, but came across another group that had the same idea and wanted to take a picture together. After meeting up with friends and wandering around a bit more, we turned our attentions to the carnival funeral.

Putignano - Carnevale - Piazza Plebiscito - Il Funerale IIA group of people impersonating nuns, priests, bishops, monks and other unidentifiable religious zealots paraded along the confetti-laden streets still thick with people and vendors, carrying a large papier-mâché pig, ringing bells and announcing through a megaphone the death of carnival. We joined the procession and slowly made our way to Piazza Plebiscito. We were distracted by a spate of lottery tickets, stopping to scratch at our fortunes before continuing, but soon refocused and continued on toward our goal. By the time we arrived, the pig was already well-charred, but still drawing a crowd.

We eventually made our way home, still well before midnight and me a little pickled from a number of beers that had gone down quickly, content with the evening's activities but exhausted. Angela's mother was still awake and we talked a little before washing our faces and hitting the sack.

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