Carnival of Venice

Carnevale di Venezia

( Carnival of Venice )

The Carnival of Venice (Italian: Carnevale di Venezia) is an annual festival held in Venice, Italy. The carnival ends on Shrove Tuesday [Mardi Gras] which is the day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. The festival is world-famous for its elaborate costumes and masks.

Carnival in Venice, by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, 1750

According to legend, the Carnival of Venice began after the military victory of the Venetian Republic over the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico di Treven in the year 1162. In honour of this victory, the people started to dance and gather in San Marco Square. Apparently, this festival started in that period and became official during the Renaissance.[1] In the seventeenth century, the baroque carnival preserved the prestigious image of Venice in the world.[2] It was very famous during the eighteenth century.[3] It encouraged licence and pleasure, but it was also used to protect Venetians from present and future anguish.[4] However, under the rule of the Holy Roman Emperor and later Emperor of Austria, Francis II, the festival was outlawed entirely in 1797 and the use of masks became strictly forbidden. It reappeared gradually in the nineteenth century, but only for short periods and above all for private feasts, where it became an occasion for artistic creations.[5]

After a long absence, the Carnival returned in 1979.[6] The Italian government decided to bring back the history and culture of Venice and sought to use the traditional Carnival as the centrepiece of its efforts. The redevelopment of the masks began as the pursuit of some Venetian college students for the tourist trade. Since then, approximately 3 million visitors have been coming to Venice every year for the Carnival.[7] One of the most important events is the contest for la maschera più bella ("the most beautiful mask"), which is judged by a panel of international costume and fashion designers. Since 2007 the winners have been:

2007: La Montgolfiera by Tanja Schulz-Hess 2008: Luna park by Tanja Schulz-Hess 2009: The voyages of Marco Polo by Horst Raack and Tanja Schulz-Hess 2010: Pantegane from England 2011: La famille Fabergé by Horst Raack, and Ommagio a Venezia by Paolo and Cinzia Pagliasso and Anna Rotonaia, best costume for the official theme 19th century by Lea Luongsoredju and Roudi Verbaanderd 2012: Il servizio da thè del settecento (teatime) by Horst Raack, most creative costume Oceano by Jacqueline Spieweg 2013: Alla Ricerca del Tempo Perduto by Anna Marconi, most colourful costume Luna Park 2014: Una giornata in campagna by Horst Raack, and Radice Madre by Maria Roan di Villavera 2015: Le stelle dell'amore by Horst Raack, best costume for the official theme La regina della cucina veneziana by Tanja Schulz-Hess, most creative costume Monsieur Sofa et Madame Coco by Lorenzo Marconi 2016: I bagnanti di Senigallia by Anna and Lorenzo Marconi, best costume for the official theme I caretti siciliani by Salvatore Occhipinti and Guglielmo Miceli 2017: Il signore del bosco by Luigi di Como 2018: L'amore al tempo del campari by Paolo Brando 2019: I bambini della luce by Horst Raack, best traditional costume matrimonio all' Italiana by Borboni si Nasce, most original costume Paguri by Nicola Pignoli and Ilaria Cavalli

In February 2020, the Governor of Veneto Luca Zaia announced the decision to call off the Carnival celebrations in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.[8]

^ Danilo Reato, Storia del carnivale di Venezia, Venezia, Assessorato alla Cultura della Provincia di Venezia, 1988. ^ Gilles Bertrand, Histoire du carnaval de Venise, XIe-XXIe siècle, Paris, Pigmalion, 2013, p. 37-94. ^ Stefania Bertelli, Il Carnivale di Venezia nel Settecento, Roma, Jouvence, 1992. ^ James H. Johnson, Venice incognito: masks in the Serene Republic, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011; Gilles Bertrand, Histoire du carnaval de Venise, XIe-XXIe siècle, Paris, Pigmalion, p. 95-235. ^ Gilles Bertrand, Histoire du carnaval de Venise, XIe-XXIe siècle, Paris, Pigmalion, 2013, p. 237-310. ^ Alessandro Bressanello, Il carnivale in età moderna: 30 agni di carnivale a Venezia 1980-2010, Studio LT2, 2010; Fulvio Roiter, Carnaval de Venise, Lausanne, Payot, 1981. ^ Adams, William Lee (4 March 2014). "What's with those mysterious masks? The dark drama of Venice Carnival". CNN. ^ Bruno and D'Emilio, Luca and Frances (23 February 2020). "Italy cancels Venice Carnival in bid to halt spread of virus". Associated Press.
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