FANTASTIC FESTIVALS – Carnevale di Venezia, Venice - Noise Break
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FANTASTIC FESTIVALS – Carnevale di Venezia, Venice

Carnevale di Venezia

The Carnevale di Venezia, an annual festival held in Venice, is famous for its elaborate traditional masks. The Carnival starts around two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday or Martedì Grasso or Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday.

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It is said that the Carnevale of Venice started in the year 1162, after a victory of The Republic of Venice against Ulrici di Treven of Italy. Carnival in the 18th century began with a series of balls in St Mark’s Square, which is evident from the fresco on the walls of the famous Caffé Quadri’s. During the Carnival, every night, lots of money used to drain out in the Ridotto Gambling Casino. Irrespective of the social status people wore costumes and masks, hide their identity, and looked alike Harlequin or Columbine or the Plague Doctor and of course the courtesans.

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 Zanni mask in leather
Zanni mask in leather

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Unfortunately, the festival was completely banned by the King of Austria in 1797 and even the use of masks became strictly forbidden. However, after a long absence, the Carnival returned with a bang in 1979, when the government decided to bring back the history and culture of Venice, with the revival of the traditional Masked Carnival.

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Since then, people from all over the world gather together in Venice, attend and participate in the festival, and in the process become the proud owner of  a precious and memorable experience of a lifetime. To participate in the thrilling event, they dress up with masks and costumes, parade around the city with the Venetians, enjoy the live music in the main squares of the city, find the canals full of colorful boats, find the jugglers and entertainers in every nook and corner and feel as if they are in a fairy land. The nights are always young during the carnival and always promise an unthinkable new pleasure and an unknown passion for a new rhythm in life, hitherto been unsung and anonymous.

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Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.

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