Many children have grown up with the story of Pinocchio, the fairytale boy carved from wood whose nose grows longer with every lie he tells.
Pinocchio was created by Italian writer Carlo Lorenzini, who used the pen name Carlo Collodi. His most famous work was The Adventures Of Pinocchio, which first appeared in 1881. The town of Collodi in Italy celebrates Pinocchio’s Birthday each year on the last day in May and takes place in the Parco di Pinocchio, an entertainment ground which is devoted to Pinocchio’s adventures.
The theme of the event in 2009 is "Pinocchio makes a difference", which aims to raise awareness of recycling. Schoolchildren will submit their ideas and the grand birthday party will feature prize giving for the best ideas. There is also live music, puppet shows and a huge birthday cake.
Pinocchio is a marionette who was carved from wood by Geppetto and Pinocchio left home and had a series of adventures before returning home and finally becoming a real boy. Pinocchio is probably best remembered for his nose growing to such a size (with all the lies) that he couldn’t leave the house. Woodpeckers flew into the house and pecked it back to its normal size! A valuable lesson learnt there hopefully!
Pinocchio also became a Walt Disney animated film in 1940 and the firm family favourite has been retold many times through stage and screen.