Carnival of Venice

The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival held in Venice.

The Carnival ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter, on Shrove Tuesday (Martedì Grasso or Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday.

The festival is world-famous for its elaborate masks.

Origins of the Carnival: During the 40 days of Lent, parties were off-limits—and so was eating foods like meat, sugar, and fats. As a result, people would try to get rid of all their rich food and drink (and get their partying out of the way!) before Lent. Hence… Carnival.

In fact, the word Carnevale may come from the Latin words carne and vale, meaning “farewell to meat”!. According to tradition, Venice’s Carnival got its start in 1162, when townspeople celebrated a victory over the Patriarch of Aquileia.

Traditional masks: The Carnival of Venice is famous for its amazing masks. All the way back in 1268, a law even was passed to ban—of all things—putting on masks and throwing perfumed eggs!

By the time of the Renaissance, masks were a fixture of Carnevale celebrations. By the 16th century, the popular Commedia d’Arte troupe performed slapstick comedy in the piazzas of Venice—while masked. Believe it or not, though, masking was hardly just a Carnival tradition.

By the 18th century, Venetians were allowed to wear masks for six months a year. And they took advantage! Black velvet masks, for example, would be worn in “houses of ill repute”—especially gambling parlors—to shield their owners’ identities, as shown in the painting here.

During Carnival, you can also see the Flight of the Angel, a traditional and stunning event held in Piazza San Marco .

For more info visit the official website (link here) https://www.carnevale.venezia.it/en/

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