Milan’s Chinese New Year Mash-up

Chinese New Year

Carnival + Chinese New Year + Italian military band: this unruly cultural mash-up took place in Milan to bring in the year of the pig recently.

Celebrations of capodanno cinese were a bit toned down in size and scale compared to last year, there was little about it in the papers probably because it fell during carnival.

The Italian kids in costume — a pouty princess, a little “china man” and a cowboy — seemed cranky at being dragged away from parties and largely occupied themselves by throwing nasty little handfuls of confetti at their parents. More photos here.

But there were more kids in the parade this time, plus the usual dragons and banners. And the bersaglieri were there again, making Milan probably the only Chinese New Year fete accompanied by a brass band of 60-year-olds tooting “O Sole Mio.”

As before, there was no crowd control, no police barriers so going to the parade means being in the parade as it bounces down Via Paolo Sarpi, Chinatown’s main artery. Last year’s more inspired tale here.

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