The Carnival of Acireale , considered “the most beautiful in Sicily”, is one of the most authentic and engaging events of the island’s folklore. Throughout the period of the celebrations allegorical floats, masked groups, bands and flowered floats parade along an articulated path through the streets of the center. Exhibitions and concerts are located within the circuit, entirely immersed in the splendor of Sicilian Baroque.
The first documents on alleged Carnival celebrations in the land of Jaci date back to 1594 , as can be seen from a payment mandate ordered by the Jurors in favor of the Capuchins for the ” carnilivari festivals “.
Untied from all constraints, in the period of the year when everything is allowed, citizens could allow themselves the freedom to joke about the powerful of the time. It is from this propensity to satire that one of the first masks of the Acese carnival came to life, “the Abbatazzu ” (also called Pueta Minutizzu), which with its large books made fun of the clerical class of the time, in particular on Monsignor Michelangelo Bonadie, Abbot-Bishop of Catania.
Around 1600 during the Acese carnival there was the habit of playing by throwing oranges and lemons. Despite the enthusiastic participation of the crowd, in 1612, the Court issued a ban prohibiting the practice.
In the eighteenth century the tradition was resumed after the long standstill caused by an earthquake that upset Eastern Sicily. Other masks appear: the Barunis are flanked by the Abbatazzu , with the intention of making fun of the aristocracy, and the Manti , a costume with many frills that had the sole purpose of keeping the wearer anonymous.