From February 4th to 25th, discover the magic of the 629th Carnival of Putignano in Apulia. Here are the schedule and the dates not to be missed!
The town of Putignano is located in the metropolitan city of Bari, in Apulia, and is among the most interesting places to visit in the Murge area, especially in winter.
In particular, the Carnival of Putignano is the most important and prestigious event of this Apulian village. No wonder that Putignano is known among the oldest Carnival celebrations in the world and the most important ones in Europe with a history built over 629 through magic and fun.
Don't want to miss the Carnival of Putignano during your trip to Apulia? Then you're in the right place! Read this article to find out in detail the full schedule and the dates and how to get to the event. Furthermore, some interesting historical and cultural notes on the celebration of Carnival in Apulia are there for the most curious readers.
Carnival of Putignano: schedule and dates
Carnival float in Putignano, original source: Wikipedia's page "Carnevale di Putignano", author "Iceyes"
The Carnival of Putignano 2023 edition named "A whole diferent fairy tale", following a schedule of three weeks of celebrations from February 4th to 25th, offers a great variety of events including concerts, games for children and of course wonderful parades of masks and Carnival floats.
The Carnival of Putignano is in fact known for being the longest lasting in Europe and this makes this celebration one of the most important festivals and events all over Apulia in winters.
Do you want to visit Apulia in February? Then we absolutely recommend that you seize the opportunity to dive into the magic and joy of the Carnival of Putignano! Here’s for you the complete schedule of the 2023 edition with dates and events:
- February 4th 2023
H 6:30 pm, Opening Party and First masked parade, Corso Umberto I°
H 9:30 pm, Margherita Vicario main stage, Piazza Principe di Piemonte
- February 5th 2023
H 9:30 pm, Tutti Fenomeni, Teatro che non c’è, Via Michele Mummolo, 88 - Zona Industriale
- February 9th 2023
Married women Thursday, Thursday’s parade and N’de Josr (music and good food in the old town), credits to ’Associazione Trullando
Los Locos, free concert, Piazza Principe di Piemonte
- February 12th 2023
H 11 am Second masked parade, Corso Umberto I°
H 6:30 pm, Dove si Balla, Dargen D’Amico main stage, Piazza Principe di Piemonte
- February 16th 2023
Married men Thursday, Thursday’s parade and Horns cutting off, credits to Accademia delle Corna, N’de Josr e U’ndondr (an ancient habit for this Carnival) credits to Scuola Elementare G. Minzele
- February 18th 2023
H 9 pm, Max Angioni, Teatro che non c’è, Via Michele Mummolo, 88 - Zona Industriale
- February 19th 2023
H 3:30 pm, The Greatest Show and Third masked parade, Corso Umberto I°
H 9:30 pm, Geolier main stage, Piazza Principe di Piemonte, credits to Autodromo Club Putignano
- February 20th 2023
Last rites, credits to Associazione Agro
- February 21st 2023
H 6:30 pm, Shrove Tuesday, Fourth masked parade, Corso Umberto I°
TV star Mara Venier is the 2023 sponsor-woman of the Carnival of Putignano
Follows the ritual of the Campana dei Maccheroni, credits to Associazione La Zizzania
- February 22nd 2023
H 9:30 pm, Francesco Gabbani, Teatro che non c’è, Via Michele Mummolo, 88 - Zona Industriale
- February 25th 2023
H 6:30 pm, Closing Party, N’de Josr and Fifth masked parade
The schedule of the Carnival of Putignano 2023 also includes the attractions of the Carnival Circus, Gonfiabiland, the Great Curtain of Lights and the Marzipan House from February 4th to 25th. You shouldn’t miss, especially with children: the Tree of Fairy Tales, credits to Carta in Festa Cultural Association; the exhibition ‘Tutti siamo Farinella’, credits to Chiostro Biblioteca Comunale; a visit to the Carnival Museum of Putignano (Romanazzi Carducci Museum).
Carnival of Putignano in Apulia: how to go and where to park
Would you like to go by car to the Carnival of Putignano, but are you afraid of not finding a parking spot? These days of the festival, one of the main problems concerns the city road system, modified to make it possible for the parades of floats and masks to pass and entertain people.
Here are some suggestions for you about where to park in Putignano and related details:
Parcheggio di Viale Cristoforo Colombo, 70017 Putignano BA
Parcheggio di Via Castellana-Putignano, 70017 Putignano BA
Parcheggio Mercato Boario, 70017 Putignano BA
Parcheggio SP237, 70017 Putignano BA
History of the Carnival of Putignano: origins, symbols and Farinella
The Carnival of Putignano is one of the oldest in the world and its origins are rooted in the heart of the Middle Ages, in 1394. An era that was certainly dark and full of dangers, in particular due to the fear of famine and pestilence or of assaults and looting by the Saracens, the terror of the Mediterranean in that period. This is in this scenario where the cult of this celebration was born.
According to history, by order of the Knights of Malta the relics of St. Stephen had to be secured in a place far from the coast, therefore exposed to attacks from the sea. The chosen location was the village of Putignano, located high up on the hills of the Apulian hinterland and much easier to defend than any other coastal city.
The chronicles of the time tell about the moving of the relics which turned into a real parade with songs and dances, which was joined along the way by the local farmers, engaged in that period of the year in the cultivation of vines using the technique of offshoot. Here comes the reference to the Festa delle Propaggini (offshoot festival), a long period that marks the beginning of the Carnival of Putignano and in Apulia at Christmas time (December 26th) and ending on Shrove Tuesday.
The tradition of the procession of offshoots, matching the sacred and the profane in an atmosphere of joy, still today makes the spirit of the Carnival and of the colorful and amusing masked parades. In particular, the Carnival of Putignano is among the best known for the parade of Carnival floats, giants made of papier-mâché by the craftsmen of the village who master the art of this material and which turn of the festival every year, merging tradition, culture and satire in a show no one should miss to experience!
To mark the end of the Carnival period it comes the Campana dei Maccheroni: a real papier-mâché bell which, thanks to an audio amplification system, rings 365 times in the last hour of the Carnival and reminds to all the fun loving ones to enjoy a last dance or a last exaggeration of good food and excellent wine.
One of the symbols of the Carnival of Putignano is the hometown mask: Farinella. Its name comes from a local speciality, a dish of popular cuisine based on chickpeas and barley. Farinella is represented as a fusion between the famous Harlequin and a classic Joker of cards, dressed in bright colors and wearing a hat with bells, and his mask looks like an old man with a red nose. He is a symbol of joy, excess and light-heartedness, of a Carnival spirit which knows no limits. According to local folklore, Farinella shall also be a city hero, the savior of Putignano from a Saracen attack thanks to his ingenious idea of staging a plague epidemic in the village to frighten the invaders: a real Carnival joke!
Carnival in Apulia: not only Putignano
Carnival is certainly one of the most important celebrations in Apulia, a southern Italy’s region that knows how to pamper tourists with a perfect mix of culture, ancient local traditions and a cosmopolitan soul.
Celebrating the Carnival in Apulia means diving yourself into a joyful atmosphere, made even better by the beauty of the masked parades and the typical Carnival floats and by the goodness of the recipes of the good Apulian cuisine, especially the typical sweets - such as chiacchiere (‘small talks’) or dita degli apostoli (‘apostle’s fingers’) - which make happy both children and adults.
If you plan to spend Carnival in Apulia, then you should take notes because Putignano is not the only place worthy of being involved in your travel itinerary! Here are other interesting proposals for you, consider also other provinces, in sight of the funniest and most colorful party of the year.
Among the most evocative suggestions stands out the Carnival of Manfredonia, in the Province of Foggia, a beautiful celebration where it is possible to admire the classic papier-mâché floats and the amazing masked parades during the Parade of Wonders and the Great Parades, in particular of the Golden Night where the pinata plays a key role; the typical mask refers to a lively old man called Zè Pèppe.
Moving to the Province of Taranto, the Carnival of Massafra shouldn’t be missed. It is included in the list of historic Carnivals in Italy and is famous above all for the absence of barriers during the parades of floats and masks, thus making everyone share in the joy of the party; the representative masks are the bizarre clown Gibergallo and the farmer Lu Pagghiuse.
In the provinces of Lecce and Brindisi there are some of the most eagerly awaited festivals, in particular the Carnivals of Gallipoli and Mesagne which embody the most authentic Apulian spirit relating to its roots; the symbolic masks are, respectively, Lu Titoru and Grappolino. Worthy to be mentioned is also the Carnival of Palo del Colle, near Bari, with the unusual habit of the Palio del Viccio: a real medieval-style carousel that lights up the party on Shrove Tuesday.