In XIX century Romagna, Ash Wednesday was known as “e’ dè d’ Sén Grugnõn”, the day of “San Grugnone”, because people had a scowl (“grugno”) since carnival celebrations were over and Lent about to start. Conselice has been celebrating again this tradition in an unusual way since 1919.
The history of the kingdom of Boyste’land
The carnival of San Grugnone started to be celebrated in Conselice in 1919, in the way that is still on fashion. Since its start, the carnival featured a series of imaginary characters all related to the fantasy kingdom of 1920 Boysteland, including a king, ministers, generals etc., whose names were probably inspired by nicknames of those days.
Originally the carnival in Conselice started at 1pm on the first day of Lent; the imaginary characters of the kingdom travelled to the villages around Conselice, the so called colonies of the kingdom. Back then there were no floats but the actors wore a sort of red military uniform and a hat.
The parade was accompanied by a small orchestra with 7 or 8 musicians, known as “Concertino dal Pèp Róti”; as they left the town to visit the countryside villages, people offered them food and wine along the way, in exchange of jokes.
(Updated to 21/01/2022)