The "Carnival of Venice", which is held annualy, is a festival in Venice, Italy. The Carnival ends with the Christian celebration of Lent in february, forty days before Easter, on Shrove Tuesday ( also known as Martedì Grasso or Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday.
The “Carnevale”, as called by the Italians, is one of the biggest celebrations in Italy. The city and the channels of Venice is blooming with colorful masks and costumes which can be seen only here during this special period. Art and culture is combined and it show its best to celebrate the meaningful centuries old tradition. Artists and organizations are preparing themselves a year long for the carnival days in a competition to creat the best mask and costume. Creativity is at its high level and a very strong concentration and focus on the tradition makes the Carnival worth to be visited each year. Every year around three milion visitor are coming to the celebration to the city Venice.
History of the Carnival ?
Actually, it is not really known how the carnival started but there are two known facts which can the explain the possible beginning.
During the plague epidemic in the 14. century people wore masks and long costumes in order to hide the traces of the epidemic on themselves. The mask and costumes became colorful with time and the tradition started as a carnival later on after passing the palgue epidemic.
As a religious matter, during the 40 days of Lent, parties and pleasure were off-limits. This meant that eating luxury foods, to that time, like meat, sugar, and fats were prohibited. As a result, people would try to consume all their rich food and drink before Lent time. Hence, "Carnival". The word "Carnevale" comes from the Latin words "carne" and "vale", which means “farewell to meat”. According to the history records Venice’s Carnival started in 1162, when people celebrated a victory over the Patriarch of Aquileia.
The schedule during the festives is ful of programms which you will enjoy and be amazed. There are three important activities during the Carnival time.
Il Volo dell'Angelo (Flight of the Angel) : - YouTube Video
The “Flight of the Angel” is a traditional event that goes back to the Serenissima period where an unknown guest of Venice, flying along a rope from San Marco bell tower to the middle of the square, will offer an homage to the Doge, and will be greeted by the crowded parterre of the period costumes parades of the Historical Re-enactments. As a conclusion, the embrace of the Angel and the Doge will smooth the atmosphere of a square galvanized by scenographical effects always appreciated by the Italian and international networks.
Il Volo dell'Aquila (Flying of the Eagle) : - YouTube Video
Is the second flight from the bell to the square.
Who will play the 2018 Eagle? The protagonist chosen for the 2017 flight was Melissa Satta. He has enriched this project with new contents, affirming the choice made years ago to establish this second flight from the bell tower, the protagonists of which have been, over the years, Fabrizia D’Ottavio, Francesca Piccinini, Carolina Kostner, Giusy Versace and Saturnino Celani, the most famous italian bass player.
Svolo del Leon (Flying of the Lion) : - YouTube Video
Celebrating the highest tribute to the Leone di San Marco, symbol of Venice, as a lion painted on a large canvas will fly up to the bell tower over the audience in the square.
To welcome him, on stage of San Marco, twelve young ladies from Venezia, the “Marie” will greet the flag.
The Venetian Masks
The tradition of masking has a long tradition in Venice, which goes back to 1268. To the Renaissance time, masks were a fixture of Carnevale celebrations. By the 16th century, the popular Commedia d’Arte troupe (Italian performance of comedy) performed slapstick comedy in the Squares of Venice , while wearing masks.
By the 18th century, Venetians were allowed to wear masks for six months a year. Black velvet masks, for example, would be worn in “houses of ill repute”(especially gambling parlors) to shield their owners’ identities.