10 best carnivals of the world

Who among us has not dreamed at least once to be “in someone else’s skin”? Shy singles want to become elegant deceivers, discreet ladies – flaming courtesans, and “middling” – aristocrats with blue blood. And in only one place on earth within a few weeks such metamorphoses really happen. So the thirst of reincarnation entails hundreds of thousands of people every year in the city-Venice theatre, unique Venetian carnival.

The history of Venice began in the mid-fifth century, when the inhabitants of the “solid earth” found on small Islands shelter from barbarian raids. Now, Venice is located at 119 Islands, surrounded by 150 canals, connected by 400 bridges. As 15 centuries ago people came here from the continent, now the indigenous inhabitants of the city gradually move to the mainland suburb of Venice – Mestre. There are factories, offices and flows normal life of the Italian city. And Venice itself gradually turns into a city-Museum, a performance for tourists. And once a year, visitors have the chance to not just be spectators of this performance, but also participate in it themselves – during the annual Venice carnival.

Carnivals, the Venetians took over together with the Latin culture: the origins of this holiday, as we know, are famous in the Roman Saturnalia. The main tradition of Saturnalia was the collapse of the differences between masters and slaves. During the festivities slaves, for example, was allowed to sit at the tables together with the owners, and even let them curse words. However, to caste prejudices did not spoil the fun, during the Saturnalia, all hid their faces behind masks. Heir to this tradition and became Venice. So came on stage the Mask is the main character of the Venetian carnival.

The heyday of the Venetian carnivals reached in the 18th century. Then they were not only the highlight of the year, but also the meaning of existence. During the carnival, nothing seemed too shameful, too bold, too reckless, too slutty. Opened hundreds of gambling houses, where he played huge fortunes changed and where lawful husbands and wives unknown “mask”. Not to make the fall carnival in the days and nights when even the Church has become less harsh, it was just obscene. Then came the revolution, and the holiday is almost forgotten. Two hundred years Venice has been without a carnivals, and only in 1980 they resumed.

Now over 500,000 romantics come here every year to merge with bright festive crowd. Every year the carnival opens oldest Venetian holiday – Festa delle Marie, which is dedicated to the liberation of the Venetian girls, kidnapped by pirates from Istria. St. Mark’s square, arranged presentation of “Commedia Dell’arte”, and then rain down on the audience tons of confetti. Take to the streets, hundreds and thousands of Harlequin, Pierrot, Pantaloon and Columbine, Musketeers and Bhutto, and a great procession takes place from the Palace of St. Peter to St. Mark’s square, where, after a symbolic burning of effigies start dancing.

In the procession involving hundreds of people of different age and social status. But they all have one thing in common – they are in costumes and masks. Moreover, if at a block party can be limited to only a mask, it is possible to appear at a reception at the Palazzo without a costume is just not right. Sometimes the invitations even specify what style and how long should be the costumes. Some Europeans brought specially to the mind-blowing carnival suits them a few months sewn by the most skilled tailors, and are sometimes worth more than ten thousand euros. But the bulk of tourists turns into Pulcinella and Pierrette right in Venice, where there are many shops offering the necessary clothing and props.

The main thing is to choose where to seem in such a gorgeous dress, and we will try to help you with this. So, in 2004, the carnival will be held from 7 to February 24. The so-called “public” program this holiday varied and, of course, free. The audience will be entertained by numerous jugglers, musicians, fakirs, the squares will be held masquerade balls and competitions for the best costumes. In particular, almost every day there will be performances on Via Garibaldi, Campo San Polo, the Bacino S. Marco, the Grand Canal and, of course, Piazza San Marco. By the way, the opening of the carnival – La Festa delle Marie – will be held in the main square on 7 February at 4pm

However, carnival madness, able to transport guests to a few centuries ago, will unfold to the ball-the masked balls, social events and parties at the Palazzo. Here you will have to fork out as a “ticket” and corresponding to the space suit. A toast to the beginning of the carnival you can raise the 21st in the evening at the Gran Caffe Lavena or Gran Caffe Ristorante Quadri, ticket price is 80 Euro. Paying 350 euros for the gala dinner and masquerade ball “Perle D’Oriente, in the hotel Europa & Regina”, you will be able to get into the Palace of the Eastern Lord and his exotic entertainment. And Palazzo Nani-Bernardo for 300 Euro offers you to become a guest of “Bala Casanova” and partake of all the vicious and alluring enjoyment of aristocrats of the eighteenth century. On February 26, you will be able to participate in the masquerade on the water, bought for 120 Euro ticket for a canal cruise of the city followed by dinner at the restaurant “Le Poste Vecie”, either under cover of a mask and in historical costume dance at the masquerade ball at Palazzo Pisani-Moretta, that will cost you 380 euros. The atmosphere of eroticism, sensuality and bliss will reign on the evening of February 28 at Palazzo Ca’ Zenobio, and romantic spirit of Venice of the Renaissance will recreate for you at the reception “Venezia Romantica” on March 1 at the Hotel Danieli. Both parties need to come in historical costumes, ticket cost about 400 euros. Second March at the Palazzo will be derived by carminati costume drama “Shadows of love”, which with certainty will recreate the magical, frivolous atmosphere of carnivals of the 18th century. Finally, at the end of all this action on the evening of the last day of the carnival at the Palazzo Ca’ Zenobio start of a “Golden night” – a real ball, which will make you forget that outside of the 21 century Venice, and plunge into a world of surprises, love, and entertainment, where everything is possible. And weren’t we going there?

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