The longest Carnival in Italy - Ambrosian Carnival in Milan

Why in  Milan is  the Carnival always accompanied by the adjective “Ambrosiano” and lasts a few days longer than in the rest of Italy? In fact, the thing is a bit strange: in  2021 , for example, while all of Italy will celebrate between 11  and 16 February  (the following day, Ash Wednesday, the period of Lent opens) in Milan the carnival continues until February 20. The name "Ambrosiano" is linked to a legend:  Sant'Ambrogio , patron saint of Milan, was on a long pilgrimage to Rome and thus asked the population to wait for his return to begin the celebrations of Lent. Therefore, even today in the archdiocese of Milan the  rite of Ashes is celebrated on the first Sunday of Lent , as it was in ancient times, and not on a Wednesday.

This year, due to the pandemic, the Ambroisano Carneval will be streamed by the Municipality of Milan and to keep everyone company, there will be several surprises every day on the site https://www.yesmilano.it/carnevale-dei-colori. Commented on by a representative of the Municipality: "The initiative will bring fun and lightness directly to homes - explain from Palazzo Marino - presenting a different episode every day in which, thanks to the iconographic figure of the  Clown Toni  - a close relative of the Zanni of the Commedia dell'Arte as well as the more noble  Harlequin - the Ambrosian Carnival will be celebrated in an alternative way  with shows, stories, songs, live music and international contributions by the most important artists who worked in the past in Milan, and also a small historical and curiosity section ".

In Milan, the classics are Harlequin, the crafty and silly servant, thief, liar and cheat, always in conflict with his master, Meneghino, the typical Milanese character: sincere and honest, sensitive and generous worker, “con el coeur in man”, Brighella, the old pal of Harlequin and the crafty and cunning Beltrame; these are the most popular characters of Ambrosian Carnival.

The Ambrosian Carnival, as we have said, follows the Ambrosian rite of the Archdiocese of Milan , according to which, the beginning of Lent does not start from Ash Wednesday but from the Sunday immediately following, the last day of Carnival is therefore Saturday. Traditional delivery of the keys of the city to the traditional masks of Tarlisu and Bumbasina, in Piazza San Giovanni  where the mayor Emanuele Antonelli has symbolically handed over the keys of the city to the "Tarlisu" Antonio Tosi .

The typical sweets of Carnival are chiacchiere , sweet pastry which, depending on the region, take different names. In the province of Milan they give up on fried food, chiacchiere are prepared cooked in the oven. Tortelli are also fried , carnival sweets widespread throughout Lombardy, they are soft sugar-coated balls prepared with a dough made of flour, butter, sugar, milk and eggs, often with the addition of aromas or liqueur, stuffed with cream pastry, Chantilly cream or chocolate. Pancakes are also widespread throughout Lombardy , where raisins  are added to the dough. Also widespread throughout Lombardy are the "Castagnole", rich pancakes in which butter or, alternatively, ricotta is added to the dough.

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