Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The Venice Carnival

The Venice Carnival is the largest and most important Venetian festival, an appreciated cocktail of tradition, entertainment, history and transgression in a unique city, a festival that attracts thousands of people from around the world each year. The Carnival has very old origins. It is a festival that celebrates the passage from winter into spring, a time when seemingly anything is possible, including the illusion where the most humble of classes become the most powerful by wearing masks on their faces. The official start of the Venice Carnival dates back to 1296, when the Senate of the Republic made the Carnival official with an edict declaring the day before Lent a public holiday. After an interruption lasting almost two centuries, the tradition of Carnival was rediscovered by the Municipality in 1980 and since then it has taken place every year with success.

The 2009 edition, which will go on from February 13 to 24, will be called "Sensation, 6

senses for 6 districts" and will accompany visitors in the discovery of city's charming atmospheres, passing through the districts with a constant appeal to the senses, an invitation to immerse yourself fully into the emotional experience that only the Venice Carnival can give.

It is truly a celebration of Carnival in the dark, where the first sense that comes into play is "touch", kicking off the festivities on Saturday, February 14 in the Castello district. A sensory journey based on a show that will bring you plenty of surprises.

A program rich with opportunities and fun for all ages, from the Contest for the best mask for children in St. Mark's Square, to the musical programs provided by ALL MUSIC in Santa Margherita and the Medieval and seventh-century music Concerts in Campo San B

arnaba, to the reenactment of historical parades at St. Mark.

The sense of "taste"

will be the focus of the food events in the Cannaregio district, with presentations dedicated to the theme along the streets and the fondamenta (pier).

In the Santa Croce district you can attend performances at the street theater, dedicated to experiments with the sense of smell.

"Sight" will find its place in the San Polo district, with the installation of mask labs and performances by artists who will include children in their games in Campo San Polo. For young people the evening atmosphere will be enlivened with music in the Campo bella Vienna, a few steps from the Rialto Bridge.

Still on the subject of the

senses, the Ibernisti swimmers are not to be missed, on the beach of Lido Island. The Carnivals outside of Venice are also fascinating, in cities on land such as Mestre, Treviso or along the Brenta Riviera, where you can watch beautiful parades of allegorical floats, usually on the last weekend of Carnival. An event that adapts to the changes of time and renews itself, always keeping intact the first sense that has made the Venice Carnival unique to the world since the beginning: curiosity. The urge to get involved, to shed the mask of everyday life, and an invitation to participate with our own senses and creativity to be, just once, equal in all of our diversity.

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