Come February, dreamy Venice will shed off its winter blues and become one of the happiest cities in the world. The much awaited Venice Carnival which is by far the best festival in Venice is set to take place in early February and as usual, it promises to be an event that cannot be missed.
The Venice Carnival is all about letting go of you and abandoning all worries at play.You will be transported to whimsical, renaissance times with pompous costumes and gorgeous, handcrafted masks. The Venice Carnival showcases magnificently bespoke masks and costumes, all made especially for this occasion. The carnival has its roots in the Renaissance period and was originally started as a celebration of victory in a battle in the year 1162. Since then, this baroque celebration has added grace to the prestigious image of Venice. Looking for a reason to plan a trip to Venice during the carnival? We’ll give you 6!
1. Masks, Masks and more Masks!
Masks are a signature of the Venice Carnival and they also are the real showstopper. It is often difficult to spot a bare face in the crowd of gorgeous masks during the Carnival. Probably started as a rebellion against the rigid class hierarchies, masks came to be the center piece of the celebration. Take your pick from the grotesque Bauta, jeweled Columbina, the outlandish Medico dellapeste or the velvet Moretta ; Venetian Masks are a piece of art and mask markers hold a prominent position in Venetian society.
2. Be Part of a Real Life Zombie Walk
You read that right, you could star in your very own Walking Dead at the Venice Carnival. Only, instead of hunting for warm blood, you will be walking towards cold beers and Italian wine! ‘Zombies’ are taken from the Zattere area to Pescheria for an evening party where they can let their hair down and mingle with other zombies.
3. This is where All the Action is!
A variety of activities take place during the Carnival. La Biennale hosts some spell binding performances and activities for children. There are also a number of art exhibitions and sculpture displays that showcase artistes from around the world. The whole city lights up with festive cheer and the streets become a stage for fascinating dancers, actors, singers and also ordinary citizens who want to make most of otherwise forbidden liberties. If you prefer staying indoors, almost every hotel hosts a party or a performance during the festival, so there is no dearth of events to attend!
4. Feel like a part of a Fairytale in the Legendary Masked Ball
The highpoint of the Carnival is the Grand Masked Ball. Usually hosted in a resplendent palace, this masquerade ball is a sight to reckon, with exceptional costumes and intricate masks. From the grotesque to the gorgeous, people leave no stone unturned when it comes to making their costume the most unique one in the room. So get your creative juices flowing and pick out your best dancing shoes, this party is going to be ball of fun!
5. Experience the Flight of an Angel
As ridiculous as this might sound, you can actually witness an angel flying from a tower towards her Doge who holds a gift for her. Started in the 16th century as the ‘Flight of the Turk’, the event was eventually banned and reintroduced in 2001 with a minor celebrity who dresses as an angel and flies (more like zip-line’s) her way to her prince charming at Doge. The flight marks the beginning of festivities at the Carnival.
6. La FestaDelle Marie
Historically started as a tribute to the sumptuous dowry given to twelve young brides annually, La Festadelle Marie has now become a major event in the Venice carnival. 12 young women arechosen as the stars of this glittering parade that goes from San Pietro in Castelloto Piazza San Marco which is the epicenter of the carnival. A treat to the eyes, people flaunt their breathtaking costumes and masks and celebrate the spirit of the most fun festival in Europe.
Once in the grip of hedonism, the Carnival has since then taken a less aggressive demeanor and has become a celebration of the inimitable culture of Venice. It showcases an extraordinary city that has been a focal point of art and culture in Europe. To experience Venice in its true glory, a visit to the Venice Carnival is a must.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sofia2604/
Author Bio: Erica Brooks is a lover of traveling, languages, and cultures and a photo enthusiast. A constant mover, she has made it her mission to inspire people to travel, see and experience more of this awesome world.