Thursday, February 03, 2005

Venice & Carnaval

Once a year during what us Americans would call Mardi Gras, the Europeans throw a huge party called Carnival. The main cities of activity are Paris and Venice. Guess where I'm gonna be this weekend? You got it....Venice. I'm really excited, Lianne got me a mask in Florence last week so I will fit in. Typically you wear a mask to the celebration to hide your identity. I'm going with Susan and Matt Naramor, we are flying into Milan on friday morning and taking a train to Venice. For the first night we are pretty much on our own, but then Saturday there's gonna be a bunch of people from London house there. Here's a description of what Carnival is :

"The Carnival in Venice is said to have originated from an important victory of the "Republica della Serenissima", in the war against Ulrico, Patriarch of Aquileia, in the year 1162. To celebrate this victory, dances and reunions started to take place in SAN MARCO SQUARE. Due to the multicultural character of Venice, magicians and others joined the fun.
When Carnival first began it was celebrated from December 26 and ended the day before Ash Wednesday, also known as "Mardi Gras". During Carnival, Venice let her hair down and enjoyed all excesses that were permitted. Hiding behind masks seemed to abolish all social division. Venice was one big party; carousing, singing, dancing and playing games. The most common costume (the baĆ¹tta) was composed of a black silk hood, a lace cape, a voluminous cloak (the tabarro), and a three-cornered hat and a white mask that completely covered the wearer's face. This allowed revelers to go around the city incognito. It was useful to go to casini, places where you could play games of chance.

Today Madri Gras is still celebrated the same way and is held in the month of February." - Carnival by Goner (virtualtourist.com)

I hope it's gonna be as good as it sounds....!! Here's hoping! I'll bring back some awesome pictures of their costumes... See ya sunday.

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