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S+L in Rome: Carnival

February 24, 2009
Remnants of Carnival on Via Cola di RienzoThis morning, I asked my colleagues at H2Onews how they celebrated Carnival, the Italian pre-Lenten festival. They shrugged their shoulders. Similarly, I don't know many Canadians who strictly observe our Shrove Tuesday pancake tradition. Worldwide, I'm guessing that the majority of us can't find time to party before Ash Wednesday arrives.
Still, signs of Carnival are everywhere in Rome -- stuck in the cobblestone sidewalks, specifically. I've witnessed that Italians have a tradition of throwing confetti high into the air on these days. Wearing their best party dresses, ten year old girls are permitted to toss handfuls of the glittery paper at their parents. If you can picture the mothers with curly Italian hair filled with confetti, or if you can sympathize with the the street cleaners who nightly must vacuum up the garbage, you can understand why this festival occurs just once a year.