Festival CARNIVAL OF CASTROVILLARI
The origins of the Carnival of Castrovillari date back to 1635 when the theatrical farce of the Organtino was staged in front of the city’s university on the occasion of the Carnassial rites. The first event designed by Pro Loco is dated 1959, when, thanks to the intuition of prof. Vittorio Vigiano, the founder of the association organized the first edition of the Carnival of Pollino and International Folklore Festival. Over the years, the Pro loco has developed, expanded and improved the event, giving the people the role of a real protagonist who from “passive spectator” has returned to be “main actor”, as we teach the history and tradition of the city of Calabria. Recognized as the carnival of Calabria, thanks to the grandeur of the event and its uninterrupted 65 editions, is considered, rightly, one of the most interesting traditional Italian carnival events. In fact, in 2017, it was included by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism in the list of Italian historical carnivals.
The Masked Groups is the competition that since 1989 puts in “race” the imagination of masked groups officially registered at the parades scheduled. A jury of experts evaluates the beauty of the costumes, the decorations, the choreography, the spirit of the groups that register for the competition. With a clear vote we judge the performance of the groups during the parades and at the end of the last parade, on Shrove Tuesday, we proclaim the winner.
Premio Cultura is among the most anticipated events of the Carnival of Castrovillari figure the “Gran Galà del Folklore”, an evening of great attraction during which perform all the guest groups of the International Folklore Festival – an event that has always supported, It is characterized by the carnival and which ends with the traditional delivery of the “Culture Award”, coveted recognition of international importance that every year is awarded by a jury to the folk group that best, through sets, costumes, songs and dances, has been able to interpret and render on stage the cultural and ethnic traditions of its country of origin.
The event unfolds in 10 intense days, so structured: coronation of King Carnival (Shrove Thursday) two parades of masked groups (Sunday and Shrove Tuesday) and floats, cultural events, exhibitions, theatre festivals, dancing, gastronomic events, sporting events and other numerous initiatives organized within the event. And where about 50,000 spectators attend each parade. The Carnival of Castrovillari has always been projected towards the internationalization of the event, involving guests and tourists in the folkloric traditions of the whole world. Their stay is a further opportunity to make known to the guests of the Carnival the Pollino area.