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History of the Carnival of Viareggio
In February 1873, at the tables of the coffeeshop in the noise among young good lads of Viareggio the idea was born of a parade of carneval-wagons and mask to celebrate carnival, outdoors, in the square, among the people.
On teh fat-tuesday in February 1873 - the Carnival of Viareggio was completed just as it is known today :one of the most spectacular and beautiful events of the world.
At the end of the century, in the middle of the street one could admire the triumphal wagons, real monument, built in wood, plaster and burlap, molded by sculptors and put together by carpenters and blacksmiths who, Dock, on the ports of the shipyards, they could create craft destined to challenge successfully the treacherous waters and the capricious winds of the oceans, and since then the wagons are so constructed from year to year, and have sailed in a sea of people amazed and amused.
The First World War seemed to destroy, along with the belle époque in Europe, including the Carnival in Viareggio, which instead revived, more splendid and more majestic than before. in 1921, when the carnival wagons paraded around two marvelous avenues, parallel to each other and to the beach; the paths to the sea, the mythical walk, the places that in summer were the meetingplaces of national and international high society, were, with the scenografy of the Apuan Alps, a background of natural grandeur of incomparable beauty, where they strutted, every year richer in animation and verve, the carnival constructions.
In 1921 was sang the first official song,''The Cup of Champagne ", the current anthem of the carnival.
Even the masks were animated with music, because for the first time, the band found a place on board a wagon called "the Burio Tonin," which represented a wedding party in the yard of a farmhouse.
Two years after the "Pierrot",the nostalgic and romantic figure of the carnival, came the first mask that moved the head and eyes.
In 1925, the initiative of some manufacturers, papier-mâché was introduced, to make the carts, which since then has allowed development colossal but very slight, that masks able to hover in the air defying the law of gravity.
With this innovation we can say that the history of the Carnival of Viareggio becomes legend, thanks to the builders who, through their creative abilities, were referred from national and international press as "wizards of papier mache."
Uberto Bonetti in 1930, the artist who illustrated the magic of the carnival with official posters, devised Burlamacco, the mask is now famous, that in the manifesto of 1931, against the backdrop of the piers, stretching out into the sea, appeared in company of Ondina. Today Burlamacco finds place among the Italian masks in Rome at the Museum of Folklore and tradition and is exhibited in Paris at the Musée de l'Homme.
After the Second World War, the Carnival was reborn in 1946 and since then, King Carnival has tempered his scepter, passing uninjured - June 1960 - through a dreadful burning of the hangars where the wagons were built.
From the beginning (1954) the national TV before, and the Eurovision (1958) onwards, have consecrated the great demonstration bringing it everywhere.
Historically, each year, a long line of illustrious guests, politicians, sports figures and entertainers, has come to Viareggio to admire their own papier-mache effigy, as each course disguised in each edition of the Carnival, hundreds of Thousands of people have decreed the success of this great event. The Carnival of Viareggio, Carnival of Italy and Europe each year, celebrates the splendor of a full month of festivities day and night, with a parade of spectacular floats, local parties, masked balls and festivals of all kinds.
The year 2001 marked a memorable date in the history of the Carnival of Viareggio with the inauguration of the city of Carnival, a multifunctional complex that houses of great architectural modern laboratories for the construction of the wagons, the school of paper-pulp, while in the great arena, takes place during the summer, the exhibition "Under the stars of the Cittadella" entertained estates, shows, concerts and cultural events. The Cittadella also soon will host the Museum of Carnival, a multimedia reaching out to exploit and disseminate the historical and cultural memory of the Carnival of Viareggio and the Carnival around the world.
The Carnival of Viareggio ideal moment of encounter between peoples and cultures, thanks to the imposing mass-media echo is an opportunity to globalize this holiday that celebrates the tradition as well, even the universal values of solidarity and peace.
Every year, thousands of people come to Viareggio.
Come, come you too!
- Source: www.viareggio.ilcarnevale.com --