A two-week holiday euphoria reigns in Venice during the annual carnival. Costume and theatrical performances, performances of jugglers, acrobats, magicians, mimes, snake charmers, sagapolutele, competition for the best Venetian mask, music and dance, endless frivolous atmosphere of fun has made carnival of Venice one of the most famous and memorable carnivals in the world. Many travelers he even secretly called the King of all carnivals.
The ability of the Venetians to have fun and to organize a truly incomparable show increases the population of the city every year 500.000 tourists.
It is therefore planned a trip to Italy not only possible but also need to coincide with the visit of the Venetian carnival. You will not regret it!
The carnival starts 12 days before the beginning of Catholic lent and ends on Fat Tuesday, after which believers observe a 40-day fast in front of the oldest Christian holiday – Easter.
The history of the Venetian carnival
The history of this festival dates back to 1094, but the celebration of that time passed without masks. With 1162, historically marked the year of victory over the Patriarch of Aquileia, the carnival has been held every year in Piazza San Marco. Venetian masks are traditionally performed from papier-mâché or leather, came into Vogue only in the XIII-XIV centuries. It was a whim of the rich and noble Venetians who want to make the celebration a touch of mystery, beginning to eat at the same table as slaves. Balancing on the verge of adopted secular society rules, but not wanting to ruin the fun of the class prejudice that all wore masks. Painted by hand using gold leaf and soil, masks like the Venetians. They had the opportunity to contact with socially unequal. Masks were worn from August to Fat Tuesday.
Increased number of children born out of wedlock and brothels resulted in a ban masks in 1703 by the Council of ten. Prohibition lasted only one year, as the government itself could not deny myself the pleasure of wearing masks for the celebration. Soon the mask was a real work of art, which were decorated with feathers and even expensive gemstones. Modern Venetian carnival is not complete without a contest for the best mask.
Venetian carnivals during its long history has seen the UPS and downs. Peak the carnival reached in the eighteenth century. Costumes have become the indicator of the trends in high fashion. In this century, the characters of the Italian Comedy – harlequin, Pierrot, Pantaloon and Columbine became the protagonists of the carnival. The emblem of the carnival was the charming Columbine. The same decline occurred in the late eighteenth century, when the city as in the country as a whole was dominated revolutionary ideas. The poor revolutionaries condemned the authorities for squandering the city Treasury for such celebrations. This led to the imposing of the veto on the conduct of the carnival.
Modern Venetian carnival – interweaving past and present
In 1979 on the initiative of the Italian film Director, received five “Oscars” – Federico Fellini, noisy merriment of the carnival, with the permission of the Pope returned to the streets of the city. The great couturier Pierre Cardin not only created for the elite unique costumes, but, inspired and animated by magical medieval feast, wrote in 1996 a hymn for him. Since then the hymn has become a fixture of the carnival, the first chords which lead the audience in anxious expectation of something new and unknown.
As in the middle ages, the beginning of the holiday opens with a ritual called “Volo della Colombina”. Paper dove Columbine run from the bell tower in St. Mark’s square. Dove explodes during the flight – and multi-colored confetti showered on the heads of the spectators gathered on the square. Then the oldest Venetian festival – Festa delle Marie on freedom for the girls who were abducted by pirates from Istria. Many beauty’s considered an honor to participate in this view, portraying the oppressed captive and released then happy maidens, whose beauty is ready to captivate and envelop his charms any young person.
Celebration results on all narrow streets of the city. Venice, with its spacious squares, paddling gondoliers, bridges and canals is one big scene with incredible scenery. Flight and a riot of unbridled imagination of artists recreating the medieval era, it is difficult to tie to real time. Every Venetian and guest of the city can’t come to the party without a costume. Do not forget: this is a costume carnival. Feathers, feathers, jackets and coats, embroidered with gold, white shirt with lace jabots and collars-racks, lush dresses with deep cleavage, panties, powdered high wigs, black hat – and it’s not the whole list of elements of carnival decoration.
Many females can be found dressed in sandale – black long and narrow lace or silk scarf. Do not despair, if the advance has not been picked up by a carnival costume. Many stores offer a wide range of unique masks and capes, cloaks, which can be purchased or rented.
In addition to harlequin, Pantalone, Pierrot and Columbine, on the streets you can meet Gianduja – a character in the Italian Commedia Dell’arte. The honest farmer from Permantly heartland, loves wine, beautiful girls and nourishing food that can be easily recognized by trehrozhkovuju hat and brown jacket with red edges. Also walking everywhere Pulcinella is a gossiper and quiznos, which can be identified by the arrogant mind and shrill voice. Slightly hunchbacked and wearing a mask hypertrophied with large fleshy nose, he became the prototype of the Russian Petrushka.
Many ancient palaces open their doors to eminent audience, which hosts exclusive publish receptions and traditional costume balls. So, a beautiful Palace of the XIV century Papafava (PALAZZO PESARO PAPAFAVA), which faces the channel of Mercy (Misericordia) annually invites to the ball to the accompaniment of live music in the hall, consecrated by the lights of thousands of candles. A wonderful and memorable evening, graceful dances remain long in the memory of participants of the evening.
Also charming Palace Pisani Moretta PALAZZO PISANI MORETTA), located on the Grand Canal and filled with precious decorations and frescoes of the XVIII century, draws visitors from around the world in the age of the Serenissima Republic. Grand Bal allows guests to bathe in the atmosphere of entertainment, permissiveness and seduction. Russian artist Mikhail Shemyakin, whose sketches are created costumes for a wide audience, has long participated in staged projects of the Venetian carnival, including luxury hotels and palaces.
Amazing fireworks over the lagoon near St. mark’s square is crowned by the end of the parade of costumes. And the whole festival ends with a pagan ritual – the burning of the straw effigy, symbolizing the renewal of nature. The beginning of lent is notified by the ringing of the bells of the Church of San Francesco della Vigna.
Who visited the carnival will never forget this celebration. And a reminder about the wonderful pastime can be a carnival mask. Many Venetians have become collectors of such masks, adding to their collection every year with new masterpieces. So why not follow their example?
And our advice to you when traveling in Italy: hire a car. It’s not that hard, and most importantly – affordable. So you can save on tickets for buses, trains, taxis, and publish time, which is expensive to travel.