CARNIVAL IN ITALY

Useful and interesting details about this tradition

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What is it?

Carnevale is celebrated in Italy and many places around the world 40 days before Easter.In Italy it is a huge winter festival celebrated with parades, masquerade balls, entertainment, music, and parties. Children throw confetti at each other. Mischief and pranks are also common during Carnevale, hence the saying A Carnevale Ogni Scherzo Vale (any joke can be accepted at Carnival.).

It is caracterized by...

Masks

Masks, maschere, are an important part of the carnevale festival and Venice is the best city for traditional carnival masks. Traditionally people were allowed to wear them between the festivity of Santo Stefano (26th December) and the start of the carnival season at midnight of Shrove Tuesday. The masks were traditionally worn with decorative beads matching in color. Children still enjoy wearing them today.
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Floats

A float is a decorated platform, either built on a vehicle or towed behind one, which is a component of many parades.

Some of them are also satirical.

Food *_*

The Carnival of Venice

The most famous carnival in Italy is the one in Venice.Although carnival is actually one date, in Venice and some other places in Italy carnival celebrations and parties may begin a couple of weeks before.Carnival masks are sold over the whole year and can be found in many shops in Venice, ranging from cheap masks to elaborate and expensive ones. Walking through the streets of Venice, it is a pleasure to view the variety of masks on display in shop windows. People also wear elaborate costumes for the festival and there are costume or masquerade balls, both private and public.It is said that the Carnival of Venice started after a  victory of the "Repubblica della Serenissima", Venice's previous name, against the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico, in the year 1162. To celebrate this victory, people started to dance and make reunions in San Marco Square. Apparently, this festival started in that period and became official in the Renaissance. The festival declined during the 18th century. Celebrations for Carnival were brought back in 1979.Today, approximately 3 million visitors come to Venice every year for Carnival. One of the most important events is the contest for the best mask, taking place at the last weekend of Carnival. A jury of international costume and fashion designers votes for "La Maschera più bella" (the best mask).
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