What to know about the Venice carnival

This post will help you discover the mysteries of the Venetian carnival along the centuries.  You will find out from the Italian culture and history how people used to celebrate this wonderful event and what is left of it nowadays.  What to know about the Venice Carnival? Everything! This amazing story will impress anyone so why not revealing its every aspect. Just get your mask on and let the adventure start.



The Old Carnival

The word “carnevale” roots from the Latin carne+ vale, meaning “farewell to meat”, which explains the time when it started to take place, around the Roman catholic festival of Lent, more exactly the Quaresima or “the forty days”, when people refrained themselves from eating meat. It dates back to 1296 when the Senate of the Republic decided to make the Carnival period as public holiday. However a period of silence followed for almost two centuries until the Municipality decided around 1980 it was time to rediscover this amazing festivity.

The idea of wearing a mask at the carnival appeared as a symbol of equality, which hid any form of identity between the classes.   Between the festival of Saint Stefan on December 26 to midnight of Shrove Tuesday (or Mardi Gras) people could pretend to be whoever they pleased. Such manifestations have always taken place around Venice and maskmakers enjoyed a special position in society, having their own laws and communities.

Carnival Nowadays

The Carnival of Venice takes place nowadays around two weeks before Ash Wednesday, more exactly 46 days before Easter, and ends on Fat Tuesday. Approximately 30,000 people gather from all over the world to take part at this mesmerizing event, where locals wearing breathtaking masks try to recreate the atmosphere of the past centuries. A jury of international fashion designers designates the most beautiful mask on the last weekend of the Carnival.

Right after Venice train station you will notice plenty of painters willing to offer you a painted and colorful mask at the cost of only 5 euro. Do not worry of you don’t have an adequate costume for this wonderful event, you will have plenty of opportunities to amend that.

In 2011 Venice has waited for you with a sack full of surprises. This cocktail of entertainment, culture, tradition and history took place between the 19th of February to the 8th of March, emphasizing its feminine sensuality and recalling of the 19th century heroines of the post romantic era.

Still wondering: What to know about the Venice carnival? Then what better way to answer such question, if not booking a ticket and discover this amazing city by yourself. Have fun!

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