Ah, the carnival! Venice
These days in thunders famous Venice Carnival. It began on 2 February and will delight with bright colors, catchy music and unbridled joy until February 12. Traditionally, the carnival of Venice takes place 10 days before the beginning of lent.
According to documentary information about Venice carnival thousands of years. And its origins lie in the Roman ritual ceremonies. In medieval Venice carnival was much longer than it is now. Finished it, as now, before lent, but began in late December, and the mask was allowed to carry on 1 October. Some sources say that in the thirteenth century the Venetians masks dressed in lent, to have fun without being recognized servants of the Church.
In the mask it was possible to go beyond the conventional rules, hiding the face. Not by chance in Venice carnival masks to gain such popularity that they were worn on ordinary days. Often masks dressed to commit nefarious deeds. So gradually, they began to ban.
With 1339 year he released a new law banning the wearing of masks at night were also placed restrictions on visits to convents of men in female masks.
Since 1608 the mask was completely forbidden, since people already in the mask it was impossible to carry a gun, to visit churches, monasteries and any holidays (except carnival). Punish violators severely. Courtesans were beaten with whips on the square and drove out of town, the men were sentenced to fines and prison terms.
Were allowed to wear the mask only at the Carnival – temporary exemption from the existing social order and ruling in it postulates the abolition of hierarchical relations, social distinctions, privileges, and rules.
Its dawn Venice carnival is reached in the eighteenth century and until the end remained a major event in the life of the city. But then interest began to fade. After the fall of the Venetian Republic, the Austrian Board once again banned the wearing of masks and Carnival.
The last time the carnival was banned in the early XX century. In 1979 the Italian government decided to revive the country’s history, and the carnival was selected as one of the main events. On the initiative of Federico Fellini and with the permission of the Pope carnival was again permitted. And in 1996 the famous couturier Pierre Cardin has written for the Venetian carnival anthem.
These days in Venice arrive up to half a million tourists who want to experience the atmosphere of magic and history and enjoy the atmosphere and gorgeous costumes of past centuries.
The carnival opens oldest Venetian holiday – Festa delle Marie. It is dedicated to the liberation of the Venetian girls, kidnapped by pirates from Istria. In the Piazza San Marco arranged presentation in the style of Commedia del Arte, and then rain down on the audience tons of confetti. And it is an ancient ritual called “Volo della Colombina”, which appeared in the XVIII century With the bell tower Campanile launch paper dove Columbine that explodes in flight and wakes up on St. Mark’s square by confetti.
Then begins the endless ten-hour carnival procession. With concerts, street theatre performances, balls-masquerades in the old palaces and fireworks. It is simply impossible to imagine that on the streets of Venice, someone showed up without a costume. Most popular – world-famous characters of the Italian Commedia Dell’arte — harlequin, Pierrot, Pantaloon, and Columbine. But there are absolutely fantastic and indescribable outfits. Moreover, many of the costumes for high society are sewn on sketches by Russian artist Mikhail Shemyakin. And many tourists – themselves artists, and prefer to do exclusive Venetian masks with their hands. It is much cheaper and allows you to touch the feast inside.
In Piazza San Marco you can see quite a rare sight: trained dogs are fighting with the bulls, after which stained with blood the area poured acrobats, clowns and dancers. Completes the lush view of the fireworks.
Traditionally, the Carnival of Venice ends with a competition for the best mask, a costume parade, riding gondolas and burning “an old woman of winter” – ritual, symbolizing the renewal of nature. The bells of the Church of San Francesco della Vigna will inform about the beginning of lent. Ends the carnival festivities and dancing in Piazza San Marco.
If you have a Schengen visa. it’s not too late to escape for a few days from the daily routine of office to whirl in a mad dance of fantastic masks, to remember childhood and to afford any follies. Costume and mask you can (and should!) to buy in any shop of Venice.
And don’t forget the carnivals in February thundering throughout Italy. If desired, you can make a real carnival voyage.