2012-03-09 / School

Garden City Middle School Students Celebrate Carnevale

By Mariangela Sorace
Middle School World Languages Teacher


Mrs. Sorace's seventh-grade Italian class posed with their Carnevale masks. Mrs. Sorace's seventh-grade Italian class posed with their Carnevale masks. On February 17th, students in Mrs. Caruthers' and Mrs. Sorace's seventh-grade Italian classes created original masks in celebration of Carnevale. "Carnevale" comes from the term "carne levare," (remove meat). It is observed before Lent and ends on martedì grasso (Shrove Tuesday), the day before Ash Wednesday, when eating meat is restricted as a penance while preparing for Easter.

For centuries, there have been parades, dances, and masquerade balls in Italy to mark the occasion. Children throw "coriandoli" (confetti) on each other and spray silly string. Adults attend lavish costume balls and parade around the Italian town squares in elaborate costumes and masks. Cities such as Viareggio have a series of parades with spectacular floats. Venice is probably the most famous and exciting place to be at this time of year, as you will see many people wandering the city wearing the most beautiful and original masks. Masks," maschere," are an important part of the Carnevale festival. The origin of many of the masks people wear can be traced back directly to the masks worn by actors during the 16th century form of improvisational theatre known as the "Commedia dell'Arte." Many dress up as the comedic characters "Harlequin" ("Arlecchino"), "Punch" ("Pulcinella"), "Colombina" (a maid-servant), and many more.


Another of Mrs. Sorace's seventh-grade Italian classes posed with their masks. Another of Mrs. Sorace's seventh-grade Italian classes posed with their masks. The masks are sold year round and can be found in many shops in Venice, ranging from low-priced masks to elaborate and expensive ones.

In every city in Italy, mischief and pranks are part of the festivities, which is the reason behind the phrase, "A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale" (At Carnevale anything goes)!

The students enjoyed wearing their masks in class and celebrated by having traditional Italian desserts.



Mrs. Caruthers' seventh-grade Italian class enjoyed sharing their masks in a photo op. Mrs. Caruthers' seventh-grade Italian class enjoyed sharing their masks in a photo op.

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