The town of Grosio celebrates Carnival on the first Sunday of Lent
This date is highly symbolic, because while
everyone else has already started their Lenten sacrifices, Grosio enjoys one
last moment of irreverent euphoria.
Ancient masks are the true protagonists of this
Carnival that is definitely worth experiencing. The
masks of Grosio’s own Carnival characters are worn by the same honoured few people each year in a tradition
that has been handed down from generation to generation. First in the line-up
is the couple of Magra Quaresima, a skinny old lady in rags, and Carneval
Vecc, a plump, ruddy-faced gentleman, in an
allegory of the passage from the merrymaking of Carnival to the solemnity of
Lent. Next come other popular characters such as the Bear and its Mistress; the
old woman Bernarda carrying in a wicker basket on her back; a Suckling
Child who sprays the crowd with wine from his baby bottle; and Toni the
Buffoon, who is the Harlequin of Grosio.
Naturally, the parade also features a host of satirical and fairy-tale floats, many of which narrate key events from Grosio’s past.