Italian curiosities: why do we use coriandoli for Carnevale?

Feb 28, 2022 358

We call them coriandoli, the rest of the world calls them “confetti,” but they are the same thing: those little colorful paper disks that cheerfully fill the air and the streets at Carnevale time in Italy, and in every festive occasion everywhere else. Indeed, while confetti are common in all types of celebrations abroad, Italian coriandoli are all for Carnevale.

What not many may know, though, is that the habit of using coriandoli/confetti is an all-Italian invention. During the Renaissance, people used to celebrate Carnevale parades by throwing flowers, oranges and egg shells filled with essences to one another: it was fun and it fit well into the whole “let’s be jolly” atmosphere of the event. Needless to say, it was also an enormous waste of food. 

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