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The Spectacular Carnival of Venice, Italy

The two weeks ending with the Ash Wednesday is the time for extensive celebration and entertainment all over the world. But the Venetian carnival is iconic in all aspects. It is a fusion event that blends tradition, culture and merrymaking. This annual event is rated as one of the top 10 carnivals of the world.

Venetian carnival is a real experience for visitors. The streets will be bursting at the seams with masked and costumed revelers. The carnival of Venice is not a single event. The 10 days of festivities include many other breathtaking events.

The Venetian carnival opens with the Festa Veneziana, which is a grand regatta event. The magnificent water show will showcase the theme of the carnival. The waters of Rio di Cannaregio will be converted into a spectacular water stage for numerous dazzling water shows. This is a two day event that starts on the 11th of February, this year.

The carnival is a unique platform for many traditional celebrations that have their origin in the La Serenissima period. This gives an antique flavor to the Venetian Carnival and makes it exceptional.

Many contests are conducted by various organizers during the carnival. The most important one is the ‘best masked costume contest’. The contestants parade on a stage wearing their exotic masks and costumes. Three days are set apart for the preliminary parades and on the fourth day the final is conducted. Participation is free and hundreds of enthusiasts of all ages participate in this. Some of the fantastic make-overs will defy all imagination.

Another unusual event in this top class carnival is the ‘Flight of angel’. This is one of the most popular events and thousands attend it. At 12 noon sharp an acrobat leaps from the top of the San Marco bell tower and land in the middle of St. Mark’s square. This incredible feat is the highlight of the carnival.

Festa Della Marie or Mary of the party is an interesting event with a fabulous legend from the ninth century behind it. At that time, twelve beautiful unmarried girls from poor families were selected and each of them were sent to a rich family who had to provide them with everything they wanted for their marriage. But the event has now shrunk to the mere selection of twelve beautiful girls and choosing the most beautiful one from among them. They are dressed in renaissance costume and are paraded in the Piazza San Marco and the most beautiful of them will be awarded with the title ‘Mary of the year’.

With all these interesting events, the visitors get to enjoy countless operas and concerts. The 10 day celebration is filled with innumerable parades and processions in which thousands take part abandoning themselves completely to sensual pleasures. The fact that their faces are hidden behind masks, give them the ultimate freedom.

This 700 year old festival is a combination of performances gastronomy and costumes. This year’s Venice carnival is scheduled from 11th February to 28th February. This is a grand gala time to visit Venice...

by Marina Chernyak

Marina Chernyak
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