Unveiling The Realms Of The Venice Carnival

Unveiling The Realms Of The Venice Carnival

“Buongiorno, Siora Maschera!” 

(“Good Day, Ms Mask!” – standard greeting during Venice’s Carnival)

One of the most iconic world festivals, the Carnival of Venice is a true marvel and tourist magnet. The Venetian Carnival is a popular costume festival, which is organized annually in Venice and involves a large-scale masquerade ball. It begins in February and usually lasts about two weeks. The last day of this celebration is the so-called Fat Tuesday, a public holiday before the beginning of Lent. The next day on Ash Wednesday begins Lent, which ends with one of the most popular and significant Christian holidays – Easter Day. During the centuries-old tradition of Carnival, Venetians and tourists celebrate like no other city on earth. 

History Behind The Carnival Of Venice

The history of Venice’s Carnival dates back several centuries. First recorded in 1094, it became official only in 1296. Some historians believe that the origins of this celebration go back to the ancient era. The event was tied to festivities in honor of the god Saturn. At the end of the 13th century, the senate of Venice declared Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras before Lent a public holiday. 

The Carnival had an important social meaning for Venice. It helped the Senate smooth out the differences between the different strata of society and to create a semblance of equality among all people. The days of the Carnival were full of magic and broke all the strong social cases. For example, during these days the senate of Venice even tolerated prostitution and gambling. Well, the Venetians didn’t have online casinos like crazy time casinos. During the Carnival, people could visit the Venetian iconic casino ever opening and reveal their faces behind the magnificent masks. 

In 1162, in Piazza San Marco, a public celebration was announced in honor of the victory over the Patriarchate of Aquileia. However, it evolved into a great iconic holiday later, in the eighteenth century. It was then that beginners and professional actors began to take part in the carnival. From now on, each costume had been associated with a certain masked hero. These masked characters were from the traditional Italian street theater, Commedia Dell’arte. The most popular characters are Pulcinella, Columbine, Pantaloon, and Pierrot. At the end of the XVIII century, there were mass uprisings, and the holiday was practically forgotten. In the XX century, the Venetians decided to revive this marvelous tradition and give the carnival a new lease of life. 

Where And How To Enjoy The Carnival? 

Venice’s Carnival usually lasts two and a half weeks. It opens with Rio di Cannaregio, a beautiful spectacle on the canal, and a ritual called Volo della Colombina, an explosion of the Columbine dove in Piazza San Marco. Then there are large-scale performances, and then the festivities permeate all the streets of the city as well. People in colorful costumes and masks sing songs, dance, socialize and just stroll around showing off their costumes. Carnival covers all of Venice, but most of the fun takes place in the squares (piazzas). 

The festivities end with a costume parade and a magnificent fireworks display. At the carnival, you can find almost any costume, but it must be bright, reflecting the character and features of the chosen hero. The mask is a symbol of the Venetian Carnival, and one of the common Carnival events is a mask beauty contest. The most traditional Venetian masks are the Bauta mask and the mask of the Plague Doctor. 

When Is The Carnival Of Venice 2025?

Although centuries have passed, the Venetian Carnival remains a unique and splendid holiday that relives the glory of the old Venice. The Venice Carnival 2025 will be from February 22nd to March 4th. There’ll also be “pre-carnival” music and circus performances, as well as an incredible street theater show. The carnival itself will start with the parade of the most beautiful Venetian girls, the Feast of the ‘Maries’, a show and a contest of carnival costumes. 

Spread throughout the entire city, carnival will be held at numerous Venetian squares including Saint-Mark Square, St. Stefano Square, St. Margherita, and St.Cassiano squares. You will be able to attend various events or take part in numerous competitions. Do you want to admire the Carnival on your own? This is a good idea because this beautiful holiday is the true spirit of Venice. To inform yourself about the full program of the upcoming carnival in 2025, check the official Carnival website.

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