Carnevale di Venezia!

‘Life is a carnival. You wait in long lines to enjoy a short ride’.

Colors, celebrations, ferry wheels, masks, costumes, merriments, public parades… All these words can be connected with the title of this article. The continuity of traditions is present even now in the city of canals. So, Carnival dye Venezia is one of the popular carnival around the world and the charming characteristic of the city. This carnival also attracts the tourists who visits there with its sumptuous costumes and masks parade. Wearing mask is followed as a traditional one, as it also get to mask the people’s class and status and it also makes fun of aristocracy. Having such carnival creates an enchanting atmosphere with acrobats, jugglers and raffish performances in private cafe and houses.

The carnival takes place in February. It starts before two weeks; prior to the ash wednesday and ends on shrove Thursday. The traces from the official documents of such carnivals are noted before 1094 A.D. as the celebrations that took place before lent. However this tradition was introduced by the act of the senate of the republic of Venice in 1296 A.D. and this has become internationally famous and prestigious during 18th century. But at the end of the century, with French conquest of the Republic 1st in the Austrian occupation and later; the tradition of masks was forbidden and the festivities got survived only in some island of Lagoon. This gradually came back in 19th century and the tradition was restored in 1979, when the Italian government has decided to bring back the history and the culture of Venice.

People would mask themselves as historical characters such as Casanova who had indulged in Venice with wild parties and love affairs and characters tend to interpret comic adventures. Carnival lasts for a couple of weeks and the most important day is last Thursday. St. Mark’s square is found to be the centre of all happenings. A wooden stage would be set around there; and during the last Sunday and last Tuesday, the award will be presented to the best dressed and masked artisans. Every year a theme would be setup and the events would be presented according to it. The theme of art and tradition was followed in the year 2016.

The characters would mask themselves as traditional Venetian artisans. For instance ‘Bata’ is a 17th century character and the masking involves the wearing of white mask under black hat and black cloak. ‘Merrida muda‘ is represented with a dark velvet mask and is often weared by women. Thus the tradition of mask, colour and celebrations tends to attract the tourists. Venice becomes the manufacturer of masks and the parade of traditional 18th century style masks.