This symbolic event has been celebrated for centuries, at least since 1318, making the carnival at Santhià the oldest in the Piedmont region.
It starts on Epiphany and comes to a close after the carnival society’s members, accompanied by musicians from various bands, go from door to door collecting donations for the Carnival organisation, known as ‘Pule’. This happens after the shows on Saturday and Sunday. At the end of these two days, Congrega takes place amid food and music. It’s an unusual kind of auction that involves opposing team members performing improbable deeds. Between the Sunday and Shrove Tuesday, there are parades of allegorical and masked floats, the ‘fagiolata’, 24 Medieval games of Gianduja (the sack race, breaking cooking pots, tug-of-war, etc.), prize-giving and finally a great ‘Babaciu’ bonfire in the central square, which is followed by wild parties. It really is an event worth going to see, either during the preparation phase or for the final merry days of the festival.