The most well-known festival around the world, with distinctive traditions and celebrations, famous for its stunning masquerade costumes and elaborate masks.
The iconic Carnival of Venice (Carnevale di Venezia) is truly a magical celebration held in Venice, Italy. It is held for two weeks every year, and the event ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter on Shrove Tuesday.
According to history, the Carnival of Venice originated following the military victory of the Venetian Republic over the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico di Treven in the year 1162. In honour of this victory, the people started to dance and gather in San Marco Square. After a long absence, the Carnival returned in 1979, backed by the Italian government.
The Carnival starts with the grand opening, the Festa Veneziana, at night on the waterways of Venice. Boats and gondolas with revellers dressed in Venetian costumes shine hundreds of lights, creating a truly enchanting spectacle. A major feature of the Carnival is the masquerade costumes and masks. In ancient times, masks were worn to protect a wearer’s identity, as well as remove any social differences.
Mark’s Square is the fulcrum of carnival activities and the Mascheranda Grand Ball at the Palazzo Pisani Moretta adds to the grandeur of the occasion. The water-borne pageants, street performances, fireworks displays and refreshment stalls all contributes to the enchanted atmosphere of Venice, being transformed into a magical 18th century city.