Altamura February, 2012
How are you? How are you getting on? This winter does not pass anymore,
it is cold, a lot of students have flu and it‟s impossible to go out.
Fortunately there is Carnival. It gives us joy and especially entertainment
with its colours and its pieces of „confetti‟.
We have an old motto that says: „A carnevale ogni scherzo vale‟, that is „ in
carnival time, anything goes‟. For that reason we play tricks and jokes to
many people. Schools are closed for three days and students are very happy;
someone goes skiing with his parents or with friends, to spend winter
Now we would like to describe you our traditional way we celebrate
carnival in our city.
We celebrate it with a lot of madness and of joy.
Young people and especially the children disguise themselves and they
become famous people of TV or of the political world.
The Italian traditional masks are: Arlecchino, Pulcinella, Balanzone,
Colombina and even the French mask of Pierrot. Some people organize
masked parties where the young people enjoy themselves dancing and
disguising themselves as imaginary persons.
“Saint Antony, masks and music”
that is what our grandparents said on the 17th of January:
Saint Antony Day and the first day of carnival.
During the last week of this period in the principal streets of our city we
can see the parades decorated with flowers, a lot of people dance and sing
in the streets. The last day, Shrove Tuesday, is the most important of this
period because we make a straw puppet (the carnival) that we burn in the
square of the city.
At that moment carnival with his joy and his madness ends, we say „it
People play the „cupa-cupa‟, a simple home-made instrument with a box and
a wooden stick that produced a deep sound.
They go to their relatives and friends and received wine, sausages, cheese,
fried figs, baked chick-peas. In the evening they eat all together and have fun.
Carnival ends on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash-Wednesday.
A period of penitence begins. Nevertheless on following Sunday we break
the „pentolaccia‟, a ceramic jar or a clay pot filled with a lot of sweets or
water or flour.
People with a bandage on their eyes, try to break the pot with a stick.
There are more than one pot so you ought to be lucky in doing it because
they are full of sweets, water, flour or birds!
During carnival time we prepare traditional cakes as the „nuvole‟ (clouds)
well know in Italy, we are sending you the recipe.
What about you? Is it the same in your countries? How do you celebrate
Kisses and hugs
The students of „Padre Pio‟ school - Altamura
Nuvole di carnevale
Nuvole are typical Carnival cakes. They have different names and shapes.
In other Italian regions they are called: chiacchiere, frappe, bugie.
Put the ingredients all together in a bowl.
Make a dough out of it stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
Roll out the pastry on your work table. Cut it to make small rhomb pieces.
Heat the oil and fry the Nuvole.
Drain them on an absorbent paper and sprinkle cinnamon and castor sugar
mixture on them.
They are good cold.