- History of carnivals
- Masks that erase class boundaries
- Cheerful lifestyle
- Decree banning masks outside of spectacles
- The fall and rise of the holiday show
- Venice Carnival Dates
- The symbol of the holiday is a mask
- Varieties of face-hiding accessory
- Venice Carnival Costumes
- Waiting for a new miracle
Everyone knows about the riot of colors and fun during the Venice Carnival, and about a million tourists come to the spectacular event. The amazing atmosphere of the holiday infects those who take part in the grand procession through the narrow streets of the ancient city. The festive euphoria of the most famous carnival in the world lasts about two weeks, and it is no coincidence that tourists who dream of visiting Italy time their trip to coincide with this incredible show.
History of carnivals
Bright costumed holidays, common in Catholic countries, take their origins from the pagan traditions of the Roman Empire. Annually held Saturnalia - bright events in honor of harvesting - always took place with mass festivities of joyful owners and their slaves. It is believed that the beginning of the history of the popular folk holiday is 1094, only masks were not worn in those days.
Masks that erase class boundaries
After two centuries, the annual carnivals in Venice in the open air turned into a real masquerade at the whim of the richItalians. Surprisingly, the aristocrats, who were contemptuous of their slaves, allowed them to sit at the same table with them and eat the most delicious dishes during festive events.
To add a touch of mystery and leave class prejudice alone for a few weeks, it was decided to wear masks made of leather or papier-mâché, under which both the rich and the poor hid their faces. It should be noted that until now their production is one of the most profitable articles of the Venetian masters. So, hiding their faces under hand-painted masks, the aristocrats did not hesitate to communicate with those below them on the social ladder.
At first, the colorful carnivals in Venice lasted only two weeks. Over time, the timing of theatrical spectacles increased to almost six months, and a fun holiday became a way of life for Italians. At the end of the 15th century, a special fund was even created in the city, the funds of which were used to hold a large-scale show, and each resident saved up money for a new colorful costume and mask. Even the poor, who saved coins for six months, appeared at the festival in rich outfits.
Decree banning masks outside of spectacles
Great crimes were committed under masks erasing social inequality. Freedom of action led to shameful debauchery and even murder. Many, considering wearing a mask very convenient for themselves, did not take it off even after the carnivals. The Church, concerned about the deteriorating situation in the city, at the beginning of the 17th centuryissues a decree according to which all men who hide their faces in ordinary life were imprisoned, and women were brutally flogged.
The fall and rise of the holiday show
Gradually cheerful and carefree carnivals in Venice fall into decay, the industrial revolution that burst into the country did not have the best effect on entertainment events. Modern life realities are crowding out all colorful spectacles, and even a veto is imposed on holding a holiday in order to save the city treasury. However, the city on the water, lagging behind the technical process and remembering the centuries-old history of the existence of carnivals, unexpectedly revives colorful performances in 1979, popularizing the culture of the famous city.
The venerable Italian director F. Fellini, with the blessing of the Pope, made his great contribution to the return of noisy entertainment events to the streets of Venice. The great master of the fashion industry, K. Dior, has been creating amazing carnival outfits for celebrities for a long time, striking with exquisite cut and bright details. He was so impressed with the special festive atmosphere that he even wrote an anthem for the annual mass show, which has been played for 20 years in the most romantic city in the world.
Venice Carnival Dates
The costumed carnival, which has become a national holiday, begins ten to twelve days before the start of Lent. Even the translation of the name of the fantastic mask parade from Latin (carnevale) is rooted in the expectationgreat Easter - "goodbye, meat." Over the centuries-old history of holding large-scale events, a huge number of people have passed through the ancient streets, having fun on the eve of strict fasting and saying goodbye to hearty meals.
Most often, memorable events for a lifetime take place in the last month of winter. The Magic Carnival in Venice, the dates of which depend on the beginning of Lent and change from year to year, was held in 2016 from January 23 to February 9. Although earlier extravaganza began a week earlier and lasted 18 days. Interestingly, the themes of fantastically beautiful processions are also changing, this year they were timed to coincide with the opening of the world exhibition Milan Expo 2015.
The symbol of the holiday is a mask
Everyone who has been to the fabulous show knows how beautiful Venice was built on the water in those days. The carnival, whose masks are a real cultural phenomenon, attracts an incredible number of visitors who want to capture a unique performance.
Handmade and hand-painted masks are unique, no two are alike in nature. An accessory with an ancient history is divided into several types that are interesting to learn about.
Varieties of face-hiding accessory
The mask with an elongated lower part, resembling a beak, and looking very sinister, is called "Bauta". A person wearing it could eat food and drink water, and during a conversation he was not afraid to be recognized, since the accessory changed the timbre of his voice.Popular at carnival, the mask often hid the faces of roy alty and was often the choice of those who wanted to walk around the ancient city incognito. By the way, the well-known Casanova preferred to wear Bauta.
The Joker, a male mask with tinkling bells, was reminiscent of medieval times. "Joli" - the female version of the previous accessory.
"Moretta" is a simple oval mask that does not completely cover the face. It was decorated specifically for the carnival and some elements were added. Complemented with a dark veil, it was ideal for visiting holy places. At the carnivals in Venice, beauties put on such a mask, not hiding expressive facial features.
"Lady" is the most luxurious option for a fun procession. The original accessory, made from the best materials, was complemented by high hairstyles and luxurious jewelry. A lady in such a mask has always attracted male attention, remaining unrecognized.
Another unique accessory that does not cover half of the face is called "Gatto". I must say that Venice, suffering from the invasion of mice, has always treated cats with special respect. This mask is a tribute to pets and looks like a cat's face.
Venice Carnival Costumes
Of course, the king of carnivals around the world is famous for the luxury and beauty of costumes, which can be divided into several types.
Most often, carnival participants dress in historical outfits corresponding to a certain era. Some wanting to stand out and showbelonging to a subculture, surprise passers-by with gothic and cosplay costumes. Often, Italians and tourists who come not only to watch a bright show, but also to take part in it, choose Pierrot's dazzling snow-white outfits, which were especially popular more than 20 years ago.
Someone pre-sews a luxurious costume for themselves in anticipation of extravaganza, and someone uses the services of shops that offer visitors a rental of exquisite masks, cloaks and stunning carnival attire.
Waiting for a new miracle
A riot of colors, noisy fun, amazing extravaganza - all this distinguishes the famous carnival in Venice. Reviews of tourists about a significant event are always full of admiration, because it is not in vain that those who have already taken part in an entertaining phantasmagoria more than once come here. The open-air celebration turns Venice into a huge stage with the most incredible decorations.
Many Italians long for the time when folk festivals lasted for several months, and it seemed that the fun holiday would be endless. The magic show allows everyone to try on the most incredible roles, the joy of annual reincarnations overwhelms all participants of the large-scale event. When the carnival ends in Venice, and the ancient streets are filled with silence, there are always those who live the dream of a new meeting with the most anticipated event of the new year.