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Goose in the Square Festival
From: 2013.11.10 To: 2013.11.11
This human-scale game of Snakes and Ladders (Gioco dell'Oca) in Mirano, Italy is a childhood game becoming a reality. Trade in the plastic pieces for the residents of the city's four neighborhoods and the board with the central square, and you'll be playing a classic board game in epic proportions. Snakes and Ladders originated in Italy during the Medici period (1570s), though similar games exist in Egypt and Asia. But in Mirano, the game is played with an absurd twist – live geese are substituted for snakes. Yes, the game, which is played in a medieval spiral board form instead of a checkered square board, requires players to jump over the fluffy backsides of squawking geese instead of more benign garden snakes. Oh, and participants are dressed in full medieval costume. Given the entertainment value, the tradition has become local spectacle and it's certainly a sight. Imagine a gaggle of graying Italian men in tunics and tights leaping over squawking geese in the city center. Mirano is just a short train-ride away from Venice, and it's well worth heading over for the big game on Sunday. Just don't bring too many breadcrumbs for the geese or they might walk out mid-game.