Heritage and folklore, history and myth are mixed up during the Carnival celebrations that become an occasion of fun, amusement and jokes, but also an opportunity to enliven local traditions and popular culture. Its real protagonists are the masks, the so-called "lotter".
The masks wear wooden engraved masks (lorve), so as other people are no longer able to recognize them. The wooden mask often handed down from father to sun. The Carnival celebrations cover three weekends, each one dedicated to a different social class:
- Beggars' Sunday (pettlar sunntach), when everyone wears rags;
- Peasants' Sunday (paurn sunntach), that recalls past agricultural jobs;
- Lords' Sunday (hearn sunntach), when people wear and show off their best clothes and their most refined garment.
Besides these celebrations there are the fancy-dress parade along the village streets (vastign pfinzntok), the Monday parade with the Rollate (vress montach) and a funny "ski" masquerade (spaib ertach).
Indisputable protagonist of the Carnival in Sappada is the rollate, a rather austere and impressive character. He wears a particular fur-coat that recalls a bear's fur and a wooden mask hides his face. These engraved masks have the hard and marked features of the mountain people and can be considered real craft masterpieces.
The name "Rollate" derives from "rolln", i.e. those spherical bronze bells, which are tied up with a chain around the waist and make a loud sound, while he is walking through the village.