Ciao! It is that time of the year when the masqueraded men and women will flock down the streets of Venice and spawn the magic of carnival once again. The Carnival of Venice is one of the most popular events in the world with its origin dating back to the 13th century. Taking place from the 13th day of Lent and ending on the Shrove Tuesday, the festival showcases Italy in its utmost frolic mood. The tradition of carnivals prevails in many countries, but the exquisite city of Venice supersedes every other city when it comes to hosting this stunning event. Imagine thousands of people spirited with joviality, dancing and singing on the streets. However, the carnival is not just limited to dancing, singing and wearing costumes. It assimilates a lot more attributes and an immense capability to surprise anyone. Therefore, let us go through these interesting facts about the carnival of Venice and acknowledge its pre-eminence once again.
Many countries claim to host the carnivals, but the one hosted by Venice is exemplary. This can be accredited to the beautiful landscape of the place. A blend of entertaining programs such as fashion contests, theatrical performances, the artistic display of costumes and of course, the essence of the carnival, the stunning masquerades; make the whole experience surreal.
The quintessential festivity of the carnival is not meant to be interrupted in any way. In 1789, the Doge of Venice, Paolo Reneir suffered an untimely death and the carnival still continued with all its festive frenzy. It was only at the end of the carnival that the death was made public on 2nd March.
The carnival provides the opportunity for all the men and women, whether rich or poor, destitute or famous, fishermen or shipwrights; to wear masks and stand as equals. The disguise allows the wanderers to climb the stairs of the majestic Palazzo Ducale and salute the Doge. What else one could want? Right?
The government in the country had to impose a ban on the use of masks for the rest of the year, once the carnival was finished. The intervention was the result of the excessive and adverse use of the masks throughout the year. In 1339, people were prohibited from wearing masks during night time. During the 16th century, the use of masks in churches and convents was strictly forbidden.
In the mid-90s the carnival suffered a short termination at the hands of the Austrians and the French who were not very great fans of this celebration. This happened after the fall of the republic. However, the essence of the carnival continued in Burano and Murano islands and it was only at the end of the year 1970 that the Venetians could rejoice again with the state’s decision to restart it. In 1979, the official reopening ceremony of the carnival was held.
Ever wondered about someone pouring gifts down on you from up above? Well, it actually happens at the carnival of Venice. On the first Sunday of the celebrations, an event takes place where a person throws presents at the people standing below. The event has a long history. It was during the 1500s, an acrobat walked on a rope stretching from San Marco Bell Tower to a boat tied at the Piazzetta’s quay. While coming down on the rope he reached over the balcony of the Palazzo Ducale and offered presents to the Doge of Venice. The event was highly appreciated and it was decided to include in the Carnival. The acrobat hanged from a rope with rings and was named Volo Dell’ Angelo. After a few successful and very popular runs, the show met a sad ending in 1759, when an acrobat fell onto the street. After this tragic incident, it was decided to replace the acrobat with a wooden dove which poured confetti and flowers on the crowd standing on the ground. It was only in 2001 that the memories of the tragic incident were assuaged and it was decided to replace the dove with a person again.
The Fritelle and the Galani, the two most sumptuous Venetian sweets are the major highlights of the Carnival food. The attendees can find these two in almost every bakery. Every shop tries to be innovative with these two sweets particularly. Many interesting and mouth-watering versions can be found all over the city.
The whole concept of the lavish costumes and intriguing masks are the essence of the Carnival of Venice, but the people not fitting this description are equally welcomed. Even if the outsiders have missed the shopping opportunity for the carnival, the costumes can be bought practically from any nook and corner of the city. The visitors can get the masquerades painted on their face by the artists roaming the streets, that too at a very cheap price. If someone is not a very big fan of paint, then, of course, the masks are available starting from mere 5 Euros.
Venice is a single trusted destination to experience majestic private parties. The stunningly magnificent balls are organized all over the city and getting an entry is a child’s play. A person needs to own a sophisticated costume and he is done. The option of renting is also available for the people who do not want to own a high-end wardrobe.
The merriness of the carnival is not only limited to a single center. The events with an equal zeal are organized all over the city. The Tre Marie and the Volo Dell’Angelo are a few, but not all of such breathtaking events. The Piazza San Marco is also an exclusive place famous for hosting events during the Carnival.
Masks are not just a supporting embellishment, in fact, they are the true essence of this festivity. Masks have had a long history in the Venetian context. Conventionally, people were allowed to carry masks from the start of the Santo Stenfano festival till the end of the carnival season. As a result, the masquerade could be enjoyed for the major part of the year. What is even more interesting, is the variance prevailing in different types of the masks. Let us look at a broad classification of the masks.
It is just a matter of a couple of months and the streets of Venice will witness an amusing phenomenon where thousands of people will wear one of these above-mentioned masks and pursue an adventurous experience. Catch a glimpse of the Carnevale de Venezia in this video:
Let the frenzy not overwhelm you, because the Carnival of Venice stands as one of the best festivals on the globe.
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