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Discover the Fascinating “Carnival of Venice”

 

 

Venice is the undisputed jewel in the crown of Italy. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its magnificence has always attracted tourists from around the globe. Beautifully located between the mouth of the Piave River and the Po River, the city of Venice encases 118 islands, which are connected to each other by bridges and canals. Venice boasts of a rich historical and cultural history. One of its most famous traditions is the “Carnival of Venice”.

The carnival is a medieval custom that was initiated in the 12th century to celebrate the commencement of the Lent season. The law at the time did not permit people to adorn masks at night. Later, the Doge’s government permitted the citizens of Venice to don costumes and masks and have a grand celebration during the carnival. The two-week carnival commences on 26th December, St. Stephen’s Day. It ends the day before Lent Wednesday. The Italian government promoted this carnival in the 1970’s in a bid to revive the culture and heritage of Italy. Every year approximately 30,000 visitors visit Venice to participate in the grandeur of the carnival.

The Carnival gave Venetians access to the grand palaces and public properties of the city. Opulent stage performances and entertainment activities are organized by musicians, actors, performers, artists and acrobats in great squares like the Piazza San Marco. Each performance is of world-class quality. Witness grand masquerades in the most eccentric costumes possible. The masquerades include costumes that include famous fantasy characters, historic characters, counts and countesses. The joyful parade of people in elaborate costumes and masks are delightful to witness. The "Arlecchino" masquerade, with the costume adorned with dazzling colored triangles and the "Dottore delle Peste" masquerade, with its white mask accompanied with spectacles and a long beak are the most popular masquerade costumes of all time.

The Carnival of Venice has a much deeper meaning than entertainment and fun. In the past, this time of the year witnessed an open mixing of all of Venice's social classes. Social barriers become obscure. During this time of the year, the ordinary class could freely participate in entertaining activities without any fear or hesitation as their masks easily hid the identity of the person wearing it.

The most unique feature of the carnival is the world famous “Venetian Mask”. They are traditionally made of either Papier Mache technique or leather. The original masks were known to be simple and minimalist. However, the masks of recent times are beautifully hand-painted and decorated with gems, feathers, gold paints, and other wonderful additions.

Celebrities from every area of the world visit Venice to take part in the Venice's grandiose celebration. Venice offers several entertainment venues during the carnival. Gamble, see a play, drink wine, and dine at Venetian restaurants. Jugglers, magicians, rope walkers, and more can be enjoyed as you walk about town or take a smooth ride down one of the canals.

 



 

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