Feb 17, 2009


Carnevale (Carnival) is celebrated throughout Italy and the world (think Mardi Gras). Venice's version is a little bit different with elaborate, colourful masks and costumes that are known around the world. This year Carnavale will be from February 15th and will end on Martedì Grasso (Fat Tuesday) and marking the beginning of the Lenten season.

Venice will be swarming with giant crowds of people, amazing music, georgous costumes, and delicious food. The most recognizable part of the festival is surely the masks, which often feature feathers and/or glitter and include representations of jokers, animals, and puppets.

Masks in Venice date back to the 13th century. At that time the purpose of the masks were so that you would be unrecognizable and would be able to commit any deed without being recognized. In the 14th century, the rulers decided they didn't want the such sin being associated with their city and all masqueraders were prohibited from walking the streets in the dark. The party turned into a much more subdude one.

In the 1930's Mussolini banned the celebration in Venice, but in the early 1980s, a small group of Venetian artisans helped get things moving again, helping to create the Carnevale we know and love today. Bringing tourism back to the beloved Venice!

We will be going to Carnavale next weekend, so be on the lookout for some pictures!

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