Venice Carnival


  • From the history of the carnival
  • Procession Mari - a tribute to the beauty and courage
  • Features carnival today
  • Do not be afraid to try a mask!

Carnival of Venice - is a time of fun, insane luxury and extravagance. Beautiful ladies dancing in the streets, and gallant, losing fortunes under the roofs of casinos - all of it! It seems that the soul itself comes alive ancient city on the water, filling all around the spirit of the magical extravaganza. The mere mention of the carnival held in Venice paints thought a riot of colors and sounds.

Holiday blurs the fine line between everyday reality and fiction mystery, making it possible to harmoniously different eras, hiding behind masks racial and social differences, each member puts into the atmosphere come true miracle. Nights, filled with mysterious light of lanterns, candles and fireworks, are the days of reckless love affairs and light flirting.

Each year, before Lent all over the world a wave of carnivals: France, Switzerland, Santa Cruz, Rio de Janeiro. You can ride through European cities, then plunging into a foolish fun dancing and beer in Cologne, then struck by a hail of orange "shells" in Ivrea, you are witnessing the funeral amusing cardboard Sardines in Tenerife. But none of these events can not be compared by its intoxicating sophistication, in scope, in ancient times, and with the popularity of carnivals in Venice.

No matter how hard people from other countries to reproduce something similar in their home country, coming up with interesting processions, parades and all sorts of entertainment activities, the originality of Venice remains elusive and alluring. Ten days in the streets, squares, canals and bridges of this unique city unfolds a fascinating spectacle - Carnival masks!

 Carnival of Venice

From the history of the carnival

The first mention of such a festival rooted in pagan times. And the word "carnival", as history shows, comes from the Latin «carrus navalis» - the name of the wagon, which is still in the Bronze Age fertility idols were transported. The prototype of the modern holiday is considered to be the Roman Saturnalia - festivities dedicated to the god of fertility and harvest Saturn. In those days, the Romans raised the "golden age" of equality. Blurs the line between slaves and free citizens, and the gentlemen were eating at the same table with black.

It should be noted that the pagan festivals rarely done without sacrifices. Thus, in the Venice carnival covered in ancient times there was a barbaric custom. Its essence was to ensure that the whole period of celebrations elected lzhekorol that at the end of the Saturnalia was either commit suicide or die in the fire or knife. These were the people's "entertainment" in the days of the pagan worship of the gods.

Since the beginning of Christianity, the Saturnalia were banned, but the idea of ​​reincarnation, equalization between all participants experienced a century and revived in European carnivals. And there is nothing surprising in the fact that it is Italy, whose inhabitants are known for their cheerful disposition and irrepressible craving for holidays, has become home to such popular celebrations.

It is already difficult to say which of the versions about the time of the first Venice carnival true history does not give a precise answer to this question. However, the earliest documented mention dates back to the XI century. It is for certain, it is known that in the XIII century, the last day before Lent was announced this afternoon the Italian city of festivals. All his people dressed in masks and costumes, flocked to Saint Mark's Square to participate in the fun and dance.

In the XVIII century Venetian carnival reached its zenith. Heady atmosphere of permissiveness, the spirit of flirting and infidelity, a foretaste of the exciting adventures attracted aristocrats from all over Europe. Even the august persons and princes of the blood is not considered shameful to appear incognito in the streets and to take part in the upheaval of the fun. For the period of carnival in Venice, the city itself becomes a temple of the masks, they not only celebrate, but also doing business as usual. Residents of hiding the face of multi-colored plates, went shopping and service. Mask erases all rules of conduct and ethics, giving a sense of freedom and permissiveness.

In the XVIII century the heroes of the Italian commedia dell'arte became the protagonists of the carnival held in Venice - Thousands of Harlequin, Pantalone, Piero appeared on the streets. It was then that the holiday has gained its emblem. She was the Columbine. At the same time there was a significant event tradition has come down to the present day: to run a paper dove - Columbine - from the bell tower of San Marco. It explodes above the square, the crowd showered the rain of confetti, and thus opens the Venice Carnival.

It is sad, but even so popular among the nobility and ordinary citizens at the festivities could not avoid oblivion. The fall of the Republic and the revolutionary spirit of the XVIII century have led to the fact that the cheerful spirit of Venice - Carnival - practically extinct. In the 20s of the last century Benito Mussolini officially banned the meeting. But the history of these great celebrations, fortunately, has not ended so sadly. And like any fairy tale has a happy ending, like a phoenix, rising from the ashes, the Venice Carnival has gained a "second wind."

In 1979, thanks to Federico Fellini and with the permission of the Pope, paper dove again soared above the Piazza San Marco, and the feast of the newly poured onto the streets of the ancient city, awakening in people the hope and the joy of giving. And in 1996 the famous couturier Pierre Cardin wrote for passing time in Venice carnival anthem. A feature of the festival is the annual selection of new subjects, preserving the traditions of the past and harmonious link with the spirit of modernity.

 Venice Carnival

Procession Mari - a tribute to the beauty and courage

Carnival of Venice officially opens the descent of "Angel" with hundred-meter bell tower in Piazza San Marco. Holiday snow multicolored confetti falls over the city. Gaumont, laughter, music, sounding everywhere, form a cheerful cacophony of sounds. Raznoyazyky crowd marching in unison through the Piazza San Marco, recreating the story of the kidnapping of the twelve girls pirates from Istria and rescue brave citizens. This is the proverbial hits Mari - tradition has come down to us from time immemorial and has become integral elements of the Venice Carnival.

The background of this action, according to residents, based on real events. Back in 943, in Venice it was a special date for the wedding. It was February 2, the day of the Presentation of Mary, the wedding procession with twelve brides sailed through the 'virgins', heading for the church of St. Nicholas. That's where the girls were supposed to meet the bridegroom. But such a joyful event clouded attacked by pirates who kidnapped brides with dowries. Angry Venetians began to pursue pirates and battle with them released their beautiful countrywomen.

If you believe some sources, that ever since, the government decided annually twelve poorest girls Venice named Mary were married at the expense of the local rich. Wealthy families recovered the money to buy a dowry and organizing celebrations. Although, according to other sources, Bride Mary that day married the son of the local bourgeoisie.

Others sources claim that in order to perpetuate the feat brave Venetians just kind of beauty contest was arranged with the participation of the twelve girls, two from each district of the city. However, he no longer wore a religious character, as beauties were to be present at all services of the city. Girls anoint Maries, dressed in luxurious clothes, and spared no jewelry. All three legends are united in one thing: the costs of organizing mass celebrations lay a heavy burden on the shoulders of the rich nobility. Therefore, the number gradually reduced to three beauties, and then all the living girls replaced wooden puppets, which caused protests among the people.

This is now overgrown with legends and tradition has evolved into a kind of pageantry, without which no cost, held annually in Venice carnival. On the first Saturday falling on public holidays, twelve young venetsianok accompanied by extras in period costumes and musicians gather at the Church of St. Peter (San Pietro di Castello) and go to the Piazza San Marco. It was here the next day and determined the most beautiful Venetian. The girl, which fell as the honorable choice gets a valuable prize.

Features carnival today

Held in Venice Carnival 2011 was dedicated to the beautiful half of humanity, as it coincided with the completion of the eighth of March - International Women's Day. Fantasy organizers truly knew no bounds and turned the holiday into a romantic ode in honor of the fairer sex. Those lucky enough to be in Venice during that period, divided enthusiastically received impressions. Particularly noteworthy outfits. The costumes had to meet heroines-romantic era, led by Elizabeth of Bavaria, and the traditional clothing of the Middle Ages replaced crinolines, corsets, fans and coats.

Carnival in 2012 was held under the motto "Life - the theater, put on a mask! ". Agree, it is very symbolic. Within ten days of the traditional celebrations, an ancient city on the water symbolized the capital of the European theater. The opening celebration began with a procession of Mari, the speech of the mayor and the beautiful performances, when the bell tower down the girl in the image of an angel.

Since the theme was organized in Venice Carnival became a theater, numerous holiday guests have plenty of opportunities to witness the colorful performances and shows. This traditional commedia dell'arte, and the festival of Balkan music, and a parade of carnival costumes and many other interesting and colorful events.

Of particular note is the party of the sixteenth of February. On this day, around noon, on the Piazza San Marco continuous train passed several original ideas. And at night, according to the organizers and participants of the carnival held in Venice, the city was plunged into the atmosphere of the ancient traditions of the holiday. We can say that for ten days, the ancient Italian city suddenly turned into a huge theater stage for a large-scale productions, directed by the wizard. It found roles for participants and spectators, so success has exceeded all expectations.

As of 2013, the traditional Carnival in Venice was held under the motto "Live in color" and its main themes were the two water elements - water and fire. Maybe not in vain in the opening day of the city covered with rain? Probably, the very nature of this blessed holiday "wet" method. In addition, the theme colors chosen for the carnival, is appropriate also for the reason that Venice was the "cradle" of painting. It worked on their immortal masterpieces by Canaletto and Guardi, Bellotto and Titian, Giorgione and Veronese.

Every day celebration was dedicated to the new color. Spectators could see just three flights from the bell tower in Piazza San Marco: the traditional indulgence angel and the descent of the Eagle and the Lion. All other activities, including the circus, the regatta on the canals of Venice, art exhibitions, competitions masks, parades and concerts, one way or another, but were related to the main theme.

 Venice Carnival

Do not be afraid to try a mask!

Recently, a strong spirit of unity and freedom ceased to hover over the carnival in the ancient city, people were divided into participants and spectators. Gone was the atmosphere of mystery, the mystery has faded and even universal unbridled joy did not give satisfaction. Modern Venetian Carnival gradually lost its original meaning and is transformed into a purely tourist activities. Publicly and lose their sense of community, because the separation of the audience and performers destroys the harmony of a long holiday. And here it becomes the essence of theatrical processions, where masks, unfortunately, less and less, and flashes of cameras and ordinary townsfolk more curious.

Indeed, the average European tourists, to move out to the carnival, prefer to stay away from participating in it and choose for themselves the position of observer of grotesque acts. But so easy to succumb to the mood cheerful Venetians buy incredible design and brightness of the mask, try an unusual costume and join the procession passing by!

It is directly involved will feel the true free spirit of the holiday and feel like to step aside for a moment the time frame, and the breath of ancient events regard cheek for a moment. After all, it is not a cheerful mood and waiting for miracles and circuses. It is important to grasp the particular attitude, liberty, common with masks, utopian and experience communion with the eternal and beautiful, suddenly realizing that the past, present and future are inseparable.

So do not be afraid to try on a mask! However, the choice of carnival characters and the corresponding costume will entail considerable costs, since the traditional costumes are very good quality. They are sewn from brocade or velvet and are often decorated with natural fur. But is it possible to compare the money spent with the non-transferable brightness and power of the emotions that afflict a person, as soon as it becomes "their" among the masks? The world is changing, if you look at him through the mysterious slit for the eyes, hiding his true nature behind a grotesque mask.

By the way, participated in the annual Venice carnival decorating involves strict observance of the rules. Without them costumed action loses its mystery. Therefore, wearing the outfit, do not talk and communicate with others by means of gestures. Meeting is in the presentation of business cards. And do not forget to eat, because the mask you are unlikely to treat yourself to a glass of wine or traditional donuts.

But any holiday, even the most beautiful, is coming to an end. Otgremeli bright fireworks, participants reluctant to take off with the tired people grotesque masks, gradually merging with the crowd ... And now the man of straw blazing flames, lighting the Piazza San Marco and the ghostly fragile Venice, like the ever-young dancer frozen in unthinkable PA It reflected in a mirror framed waters in anticipation of the new carnival ...

 Venice Carnival: to see the world through a slit mask