The Carnival of Venice or Carnevale di Venezia is an annual festival held in Venice, Italy. It is celebrated for two weeks and ends with the Christian celebration of Lent. Carnevale came from the Latin words “carne” and “vale” which means “farewell to meat”, apparently, parties and eating of meat were not allowed during Lent which could explain why this is celebrated just before Lent. However, according to the tradition, the Carnival started from a victory of the Serenissima Repubblica against the Patriarch of Aquileia in 1162. In honour of the victory, people began to gather and dance in San Marco Square. The celebration became official in the Renaissance. It was outlawed entirely in 1797, and the use of masks was forbidden under the rule of the King of Austria. However, in 1979, the Italian government brought back the tradition, and since then approximately 3 million visitors join the celebration each year.
The festival is famous worldwide because of the distinctive masks and extravagant celebration. It features Venetian masks made of leather, porcelain or glass which are hand-painted and decorated with gems.
This year, the carnival is celebrated from the 11th of February to the 28th with the highlight of events. Some of the exciting events you may not want to miss are: The exhibition of contemporary Romanian dresses, Ice skating, the Best Masked Costume contest, performance from cycling street artists, Mestre Carnival street show, A Dinner Show and Ball, the Festa delle Marie awarding ceremony, and a Closing Party. You can check on “Carnival of Venice 2017” for the full list of events.
You may also want to learn some Italian words and phrases as you plan your visit to Italy so you can join the celebration next year. You can take advantage of Overpass’ Learn Italian Bubble Bath Game which is a fun and easy way of learning Italian. Download it now for free!
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