Carnival of Venice Italy 2014: Elaborate Masks and Costumes Prevail for Mardi Gras

Example of masks used during the Carnival of V...

Image via Wikipedia

English: Carnival of Venice.

English: Carnival of Venice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Carnival of Venice.

English: Carnival of Venice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Carnival of Venice.

English: Carnival of Venice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Carnival of Venice.

English: Carnival of Venice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Carnival of Venice.

English: Carnival of Venice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Carnival of Venice.

English: Carnival of Venice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Venice - Masks

Venice – Masks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Carnival of Venice.

English: Carnival of Venice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Carnival of Venice.

English: Carnival of Venice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carnival of Venice

Carnival of Venice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: This shows the buildings known as the...

English: This shows the buildings known as the Procuyratie Nuove on the south side of the Piazza San Marco in Venice built by Scamozzi c.1580. Picture taken during Carnival, hence the dresses in foreground (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Plan to attend the Carnival of Venice. The 2014 Venetian Carnival runs until the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which is known “Mardi Gras”.

English: Venetian carnival costume in front of...

English: Venetian carnival costume in front of a shop in Venice Deutsch: Karneval-Kostüm von einem Geschäft in Venedig (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are so many exciting events, check the www.carnivalofvenice.com website for details. The word carnival comes from the Latin for “Farewell, meat!” Devout Catholics are obliged to fast during lent. Since all meat, butter and eggs had to consumed prior to that day, it became an excuse for a party that replicated historical pagan festivities.

Italiano: Immagine dal Carnevale di Venezia

Italiano: Immagine dal Carnevale di Venezia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Historically in Rome,  Saturnalia and Lupercalia festivals celebrated lewd behavior that was beyond the realm of propriety and social order. Popes Clement IX, Pope Clement XI and Pope Benedict XIII were advocates of Carnival celebrations. Venice Carnival festivities declined through to the 1930s, when Mussolini banned it.

Some masks at the Carnival of Venice.

Image via Wikipedia

In 1162, when The Republic of Venice defeated Ulrico, the Patriarch of Aquileia, the tradition of slaughtering a bull and 12 pigs in the Piazza San Marco around Shrove Tuesday was initiated to commemorate the victory.

English: Carnival of Venice.

Image via Wikipedia

Carnival Masks made the Venetian Carnival noteworthy. Traditionally, people were allowed to wear masks between the festival of Santo Stefano (St. Stephen’s Day) on December 26 and the start of the carnival season and also at midnight on Shrove Tuesday.  Maskmakers (mascherari) enjoyed a special position in society. They had their own laws and their own guild.

Venetian masks can be made with leather or with the glass. Contemporary  masks are made with the application of gesso and gold leaf. They are hand-painted using feathers and gemstones.

English: Masks in Venice, Italy

Image via Wikipedia

Some of the traditional masks depict Commedia dell’Arte characters. Others were more sinister.

Carnival of Venice 2010

Image by Domen Jakus via Flickr

Authentic Venetian Masks are rather expensive because they are so labor intensive. They are sold all year round in Venice. Check out the Carta Alta website for an extensive array of masks at www.cartaalta.com

I like these masks:

I'm wearing this mask for Mardi Gras!

I’m wearing this mask for Mardi Gras!

San Diego March 2014 020

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

Related articles

Carnival of Venice

Carnival of Venice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enhanced by Zemanta
About these ads

5 Comments

Filed under Attractions in Venice Italy, Carnival of Venice Italy 2014: Elaborate Masks and Costumes Prevail for Mardi Gras, Venice Italy Carnival 2012

5 responses to “Carnival of Venice Italy 2014: Elaborate Masks and Costumes Prevail for Mardi Gras

  1. Pingback: Carnevale in Viareggio Italy 2012 | Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

  2. Pingback: Venice is the “Mistress of the Sea”: A UNESCO Site in Italy | Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

  3. I *must* go during carnival! I just posted on Venice, but was there two weeks too soon. : ( Great pics!

  4. Pingback: Famous Mask Makers of Venice | Christine Zenino

  5. Venice Carnivals is a must see event every year! Im a proud half Italian!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s