“Cultures grow on the vine of tradition” – Jonah Goldberg
Venice, the city of water, is located in the Venetian Lagoon bay between the Po and the Piave rivers. The city is rich with romance, art, and architecture. The most beautiful and romantic city on water, is mysterious and unusual in its own way. The countless canals & waterways, historical museums & art galleries, splendid palaces, cathedrals and churches make the city traditional and rich of heritage. The artistic city became famous for art after the Napoleonic wars in the Renaissance period. Eighteenth century marked as the turning point in the history of the city, as the town became greatly influenced by the art, architecture and literature.
The city is famous for the Venice Carnival ‘Carnevale di Venezia’. The Venetian carnival first appeared as a typical catholic custom in the 6th and 7th century, however the festival became a public event in 1296. The festival was traditionally celebrated to mock aristocracy and class difference among the people of the city. During the festive time, the city people indulge in music, dance, and party to enjoy the fair trade of products. The lower class people came up with this idea to mask their identity for unbiased business deals with the upper class people of the society. Cafes host indoor parties and the city is lively with the holiday spirit before Easter.
The carnival became internationally famous and prestigious in the 18th century, when it reached its widest fame in the world. For forty days, people used to stay in high spirits until lent, the last thursday of the carnival. At the end of the century, wearing masks was prohibited, and the carnival survived, though the celebration became less merrier. The tradition of hiding your identity with mask was resumed in 1979 because the carnival was losing its essence.
Now, the festival is celebrated for ten long days of February with people wearing funny costumes and masks in the streets of the city. Cowboy, superstar, and heroic costumes fill the city with smiles and laughters spreading joy. The carnival usually lasts a couple of days but the most important days are between the last thursday and last tuesday called as ‘fat thursday’ and ‘fat tuesday’. The tradition of wearing mask and hiding your identity has given rise to flourish trading among the low class merchants. With the different masks and costumes Venice becomes a stage of unique and endless parade of traditional and modern varieties.
Although the carnival was originated for the locals of the city, it has now become a tourist festival. Most of the tourists visit the city on the time of the carnival to enjoy the charm of the city and experience the most ethnic, cultural, and modern day parade & events of the carnival.
The rich in culture, art, and heritage Venice did not lose its charm & authenticity with the changing modern trend. And the Venice Carnival marks as one of the biggest carnival in the world.