Historical Carnival of Verrès - Opening Ball
- Saturday 11 January 2020
The year was 1450 and Caterina di Challant and her consort came down to Verrès, escorted by a handful of armed guards. After lunch with the Reverendo Pietro di Chissé, Provost of the Minster of Saint Gilles, they made their way to the main square in front of the church. Everyone started dancing in time with the music, played on the fife and drum, and Caterina, leaving her consort’s side, started dancing with daring youths from the town. The people’s enthusiasm was at a peak and a unanimous cry went up: “Vive Introd et Madame de Challant”.
The echo of that joyful cry can still be heard today. Over 500 hundred years have gone by but not erased the memory of that feast day, and so every year, the whole population of Verrès eagerly awaits the celebration of Carnival time, with great enthusiasm. Playing the part of the nobles is a much sought-after role by all the townsfolk.
There is a full program and each year costume parades are proposed followed by a beautiful ball in the halls of the castle that overlooks the town The Carnival reaches its climax every year when the main characters enter the town square. At the end of this part of the event, the people listen intently to the town-crier, who declaims the “Proclamation of the Citizenry” in a “strange but comic” ancient language.