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Carnival in Friuli

Carnival in Sauris, but not only there!

I have already told you several times that Friuli Venezia Giulia region has plenty of traditions.

Today I am going to tell you about the Carnival ones: the special events taking place during the period that comes before Lent, when jokes and excesses are allowed.

Obviously the most peculiar events take place in the mountains where small villages have been isolated for long time keeping their traditions. But there are some big events also by the sea, and obviously others that are not so peculiar but they attract and engage many local communities everywhere.

Carnival in Sauris

Sauris is a little village situated in the mountains of Carnia, known for its delicious ham (prosciutto crudo) that has a smoked aroma and its recent but good artisanal beer (Zahre beer).

One of the main events in Sauris is ‘Carnevale saurano‘ or ‘zahrar Voschankh‘, as they call it in their local dialect.

People get dressed with old traditional wooden masks notched by local artisans: there are different kind of masks for different characters.

The peak moment of the Carnival in Sauris is the Notte delle lanterne (i.e. Lantern Night) which is usually the Saturday before the Ash Wednesday.

On that night a parade headed by Rölar, a mask covered with bells, and Kheirar, the king of the Carnival, goes around the village dancing by the sound of accordion.

Then the masks and the public leave the city center and follow a path in the wood carrying lanterns reaching a special place where they stop to have an hot drink and keep on celebrating.

Carnival in Resia

In the mountains in the city of Resia takes place the Carnival called Püst. What is unique about this Carnival is the music typical of this area and played by cellos and violins.

During the event locals get dressed with 2 different kind of masks: beautiful masks – dressed in white – and ugly masks, moreover it is a tradition to burn a puppet in the main square of Resia. It is the ‘Babac‘ that represents the Carnival and its excesses.

Burning it is a sort of rite of passage that signs the beginnig of Lent.

Carnival in Timau

In Timau is celebrated ‘Vosching Timau‘, the local Carnival that reaches its peak when ‘Jutalan‘ parade dancing by the sound of accordion.

Jutalan are the traditional masks dressed with skirts and white shirts, colored ribbons around their belt line and ‘scarpetz‘, the traditional shoes, at their feet.

There are also other types of masks, a little bit scary, as the ‘Maschkar‘ covered of ashes.

Carnival in Muggia

In Muggia, near the sea and near Trieste, the Carnival parade where big floats exhibit is an old tradition.

Bellezze Naturali, Bulli e Pupe, Bora, Brivido, Lampo, Mandrioi, Ongia and Trottola are the ancient companies of the city that challenge each other to win the event: the most beautiful floats and dresses will be the winners of Muggia Carnival.

Other carnivals in Friuli Venezia Giulia

Carnival is celebrated all over Friuli Venezia Giulia. Even if not all cities have unique traditions like the ones mentioned before, almost every city organizes Carnival parties in the city centers and main squares, mainly to entertain children.

However many villages can count on neighborhoods where groups of passionates organize themselves to create colorful themed floats, themed costumes and coreaographies and parade in the city centers.

You will find floats parades in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Grado, Aviano, Gorizia and in many other cities.


I'm a Italy lover, mom of two, living in central Italy and I love travelling. I have a degree in Tourism economics and management and now I'm a consultant helping businesses working in tourism.

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