Our Carnival Heritage: The Roots of Carnival
#carnival2013 #mardigras #nola
The Italians have a saying nearly as old as Carnivale itself; 
a Carnivale ogni scherizo vale - at Carnival, every prank is allowed. It is this sense of satire that fuels their celebrations. No one and nothing is safe from ridicule, and elaborate parades on Martedi Grosso both poke loving fun and scathingly satarize current events, celebrities, and customs. This particular aspect serves as the motivo essere ('reason to be') for several popular modern krewes and walking clubs in New Orleans. The Italian city of Venice provides a special link to modern Carnivale. Since each city in Italy is given the right to celebrate Carnivale in its own fashion, Venice became the home of high-concept, artistically-rendered costumes and bal masques. For hundreds of years, Venetian Carnivale has represented the artistic heights of the mystique of the season, a tradition that was brought here by the immigrants that founded New Orleans' large Mediterranean population. 
(FUN FACT: Each March in Metairie, there is the annual Irish & Italian parade, combining the Catholic celebrations of St. Patrick and St. Joseph, yet another testament to the true melting pot that was, and always will be, New Orleans.)