Italian Cultural Society brings Carnevale to Quinnipiac


Lindsey Komson

Quinnipiac University’s Italian Cultural Society hosted its annual Carnevale event in CCE 118 on March 4.

Jennifer Moglia, Staff Writer

It’s easy to miss your family’s traditions and celebrations when you move into your college dorm, whether it’s getting the same cake on your birthday or eating dinner together with your family on Sunday nights. Quinnipiac University’s Italian Cultural Society has a tradition to combat that — an annual Carnevale celebration.

ICS hosts a variety of events throughout each semester focused on sharing a love of all things Italian and learning more about the culture. Some of the organization’s past events included pizza and pasta making, gelato night, building miniature Italian sculptures and learning about Italian historical figures like St. Valentine.

Kerry Deasy, a senior English major and the president of ICS, said the organization’s Carnevale celebration has been a longstanding tradition that existed well before she showed up.

“It’s our biggest event of the spring and it’s a lot of fun to hang out,” Deasy said. “It was a big event from when the people before me started it. The president prior to me had their grandma make tiramisu and brought in that recipe…it’s a big deal for ICS, a tradition we have carried on from the original executive board.”

“Carnevale” is an Italian word derived from Latin expressions that literally translate to “remove meat.” It refers to loading up on food on the Tuesday before the Christian religion recognizes Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting and the beginning of the Lent period leading up to Easter.

The idea is similar to “Fat Tuesday,” the start of Mardi Gras. Carnevale is also the name of an annual celebration that has been happening in the city of Venice starting in the Middle Ages. It was revived in 1979 and attracts over three million attendants yearly, according to CNN.

ICS’ event was held March 4 in the School of Communications, Computing & Engineering. Before entering the room, anyone who passed by could tell that a celebration was going on from the streamers decorating the door and the sound of upbeat music coming from inside.

Attendees had their choice of a few different dishes for dinner from penne alla vodka to mozzarella sticks. Adam Silver, a first-year business major, said that the food at the event was his favorite part by far.

“(My) takeaway is that I kind of miss the home cooking (from) when my parents would cook Italian food,” Silver said.

The organization posted about the event on its Instagram and Do You QU pages, but it seemed like most people who attended heard about the event through word of mouth. First-year film, television and media arts major Bridget Fitzgerald’s roommate convinced her to go.

“She said, ‘Let’s go! Free food,’” Fitzgerald said.

She emphasized that the timing of the event was a plus since it wasn’t too late at night like most other on-campus weekend events are.

The main event of the night was decorating blank Venetian Carnevale masks with art supplies like markers, glitter glue and gemstone stickers. Three gift cards were up for grabs for the attendees who made the top three best masks, so the stakes were high.

Deasy said the food that the organization orders for Carnevale is from a local small business, helping continue the family feel of the event. She also emphasized the importance of cultural-based events on Quinnipiac’s campus.

“I think any event that we have on campus that has to do with culture is super important just to highlight people’s backgrounds and celebrate where people come from,” Deasy said. “I always plug all of the multicultural events when I can because we have so many great ones on campus. This is just one of many really awesome ways to celebrate culture.”