The Smurfs, the Avengers, a bear, Little Red Riding Hood, Elvis, the Banda Bassotti, Mickey Mouse, cowboys and Indians, knights, tigers and dragons. “They’re all crazy here!” is a spontaneous exclamation and you can understand why. “Is this still Ticino or have we ended up in a parallel universe inhabited by strange festive characters?!” That’s what it’s like when you experience carnival in Ticino for the first time. You’ll be amazed, with surprises behind every corner. The excitement is contagious.
You’d heard about it from friends who had experienced it or local people from Ticino who have it in their blood, but now you’re surrounded by masks, drums, confetti and a great atmosphere you realise this experience was one you just had to have. Luckily you listened when they told you that you absolutely had to get dressed up. Even something simple is fine, like brightly coloured clothes, a strange hat and a pair of glasses, but it would be a big mistake to turn up in your normal gear. In keeping with carnival tradition from all over the world, a mask sets you free and makes everyone equal, doing away with obstacles linked to profession, class, age and background. Masks also create an immediate sense of fun and so you have all the right ingredients to create the perfect atmosphere.