History and curiosity of the Milanese Carnival

During these days, Italian cities are a riot of colors: floats, masks and confetti invade the streets to celebrate the Carnival. However, the Milanese people, even if are famous for their haste, in this case move slightly later than the others. The Ambrosiano Carnival is in effect the last to be celebrated: do you know why? The tradition dates back to the pilgrimage of St. Ambrose, the patron of Milan, who come back home late and asked to begin the festivities only after his return, on Shrove Tuesday.

The undisputed star of the Milanese Carnival is the Meneghino mask, which has its origins in the eighteenth and nineteenth-century theater and is a witty and good servant who makes fun of the nobles’ flaws. Meneghino is actually the nickname of Domenichino, a name chosen not by chance: at the time of the facts the wealthiest people could afford many servants, while the nobles who did not have the possibility to maintain a permanent servant, used to have one at least on Sunday (“Domenica” in Italian). This mask is recognizable by the red and white-striped socks, the long brown jacket, the short pants and the three-pronged hat.

Many events await you this week, especially on Saturday, but the event not to be missed is undoubtedly the parade of floats by the Diocesan Foundation of Milanese Oratories which runs through via Palestro, Corso Venezia, Piazza San Babila and Corso Vittorio Emanuele until it reaches Piazza Duomo.

This weekend the festivities are double: streamers will not have time to disappear from the streets that the hearts of Saint Valentine's Day will appear right away!

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