Carnival is a feast which is celebrated 40 days before Easter. The most famous Carnival is the Carnival of Venice. The parades of Venice are very important for the beautiful costumes. There is also the Carnival of Viareggio, where people on parade floats with huge papier-mâché caricatures of famous men in the field of politics, culture and entertainment, and the Carnival of Ivrea, among the oldest in the world, is characterized by the “Battle of the Oranges”, commemorating the uprising of citizens in the Middle Ages, against the tyrant of the city.
Capodanno/New Year’s Day
The New Year is the first day of the year, and like most of the Italian holidays, food is very important. The tradition includes sausage or knuckle (a kind of salami) and lentils. It is thought that they bring prosperity all year long. At the stroke of midnight, many people take to the streets or to the places to greet the New Year and to toast.
Ferragosto/Feast of Assumption of Mary
Another celebration in Italy is the Ferragosto, Feast of the Assumption of Mary (August 15). Many churches in Italy believe that August 15 is the day that God assumed the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her life. However, its origins date further back to pre-Christian times when during the Roman Empire and the time of Emperor Augustus, Romans celebrated the harvest and the end of the farm work.