Carnevale time! Are you ready?

Masks hanging in a shop mimic the crowds at Carnevale.

Masks hanging in a shop mimic the crowds at Carnevale.

Carnival season is well under way in Venice.  Carnevale is widely celebrated around Italy, but in many places only for the day or so before Ash Wednesday, which falls on March 5 this year.

carnival costumes (960x1280)In Venice, however, their celebration begins almost three weeks beforehand. You can visit the official website to see some of the many events that encompass the famous Carnival of Venice.

Since I’m not from a family, culture, or religious tradition that celebrates Carnival, it was fun to be in Italy a few years ago, when the appearance of costumed children on the streets of Sorrento in February surprised me. Some of the adults dressed up too, and most memorable were a pair of Dalmatian dogs getting into a car along the main street and driving off.

Animal masks of all sorts!

Animal masks of all sorts!

Last summer , I saw just what a year-round event Carnevale is in Venice. We saw everything from simple white mask “blanks” you could paint yourself, selling for a Euro or so, to glorious extravaganzas from feathered head to pointed toe, costing thousands. Some of my photos will tell the story better! 

Did you grow up with a Carnival tradition? I’d love to hear some of your experiences. Please comment!

carnival clown (1280x720)

Some Carnival characters can be scary!

Some Carnival characters can be scary!

carnival whites (690x1280)

In the record breaking heat last August this girl dressed in her finery to entertain tourists along the waterfront.

In the record breaking heat last August this girl dressed in her finery to entertain tourists along the waterfront.

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8 thoughts on “Carnevale time! Are you ready?

  1. Life was a Carnival growing up
    at my house with 6 siblings and a father who loved music and insisted we all sing. My very quiet Italian Mama was the perfect contrast. Have been to Italy more than once but never to Venice, however I love my Venetian carnivale masks that hang on my Pacific N.W. Italian villa home. Thanks for bringing the Carnivale to us!!

  2. I didn’t grow up with Carnival obviously but I did go to Venice ome year for it – it was amazing, so many people, so many bright colours… Loved it! Went to a proper masked ball too, unforgettable experience. Thanks for awakening the memories :)

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