Carnival of Sciacca 2019
5 January 2019

Carnival of Sciacca 2019

Carnival of Sciacca: from 2nd to 5th March 2019, Sciacca comes alive with tradition and modernity

The Carnival of Sciacca is one of the most important Carnival events in Sicily, along with that of Acireale and that of Termini Imerese, which recently was included among the Best Events of Sicily of 2019.

In Sciacca, in the province of Agrigento, the Carnival is a very heartfelt event by its citizens.

It is not just a parade of Carnival floats and costumes, but there is much more: the dedication of the master papier-mâché makers, who start working on the floats about a year before the event, the work of architects and craftsmen, set designers, the help of private associations, the contribution of citizens volunteers who work to set up everything before the event.

The result is a mixture of colors, music, confetti, huge papier-mâché floats that walk through the city. The beautiful Carnival costumes attract visitors, tourists, photographers, journalists, and bloggers interested in living and sharing the event. In recent years, the Carnival of Sciacca has been a considerable success in terms of online sharing, so much so that they created an app to share the event and to stay tuned for all the news.

Today this event is so social and trendy, but the Carnival of Sciacca has very ancient origins. It is said that it dates back to Roman times, when they celebrated the Saturnals. The first masked events date back to the nineteenth century. During the event, people used to eat sausages, wine and sicilian cannoli. This tradition is partly maintained even today, with the difference that now during the festival people drink orange soda rather than wine (also because of the attendance of children and teenagers). Over time the papier-mâché floats were introduced, and at first they very simple; today these carnival floats are made through a meticulous work by paper-mache experts. Furthermore, they are equipped with amplifier stereos and lighting systems.

The Carnival of Sciacca starts on the day of Fat Thursday, when people give the Keys of the city to the king of masks, the carnival float of Peppe Nappa. Traditionally, this mask is described as a lazy and astute man and he is the symbol of the Carnival of Sciacca. The event and the parades end with the burning of Peppe Nappa, on Shrove Tuesday: the float is set on fire, in a show that includes music, fireworks and acting.

Peppe Nappa, Carnevale di Sciacca
Peppe Nappa’s float burning

Acting is a distinctive trait of the Carnival of Sciacca, the only one in Italy which includes the reading of scripts during a Carnival event. The participants, in fancy costumes, play various characters. Here, the satire has the major role: actors represent public and political figures, to criticize them.

However, the Carnival of Sciacca is also unique for the feeling between participants and spectators. Spectators can really admire from very close the papier-mâché floats. Visitors and floats parade together through the streets of Sciacca, creating a unique atmosphere of joy.

Sciacca: not just Carnival

Located at few kilometers far from Agrigento, Sciacca is a seaside town that lives mostly on fishing and tourism, thanks to the Carnival and its ceramics.

Sciacca is the most populous Sicilian city after Palermo. There are many churches, monuments and castles that attract tourists. There is an increase of tourism especially during the period of Carnival, but even in other periods of the year, Sciacca is chosen as a destination by many travelers, above all during Summer.

Panoramic view from the port of Sciacca

Sciacca is well-known even for the creation of ceramics: this ancient art, here, is handed down to the present day and many artisans are specialized ceramists, who are known in Sciacca for their creations of considerable value.

This year the carnival of Sciacca will be held from 2nd to 5th March 2019, at the historic city center.

If you are curious to join one of the most popular Carnivals of Sicily and Italy, you can contact us for a transfer service, to enjoy it without thinking about parking.

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