CarnivalAltamura February, 2012Dear friends,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 entertainmentwith its colours and its pieces of „confetti‟.We have an old motto that says: „A carnevale ogni scherzo vale‟, that is „ incarnival time, anything goes‟. For that reason we play tricks and jokes tomany people. Schools are closed for three days and students are very happy;someone goes skiing with his parents or with friends, to spend winterholidays.Now we would like to describe you our traditional way we celebratecarnival in our city.We celebrate it with a lot of madness and of joy.Young people and especially the children disguise themselves and theybecome 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 organizemasked parties where the young people enjoy themselves dancing anddisguising 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 wecan see the parades decorated with flowers, a lot of people dance and singin the streets. The last day, Shrove Tuesday, is the most important of thisperiod because we make a straw puppet (the carnival) that we burn in thesquare of the city.
At that moment carnival with his joy and his madness ends, we say „itdies‟.People play the „cupa-cupa‟, a simple home-made instrument with a box anda 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 breakthe „pentolaccia‟, a ceramic jar or a clay pot filled with a lot of sweets orwater 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 becausethey 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 celebrateCarnival?Kisses and hugsThe students of „Padre Pio‟ school – Altamura
Nuvole di carnevaleIngredientsWhite flourButterEggsRhumWhite wineCinnamon powderCastor sugarVanillaNuvole 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 sugarmixture on them.They are good cold.