The Venice Carnival is an annual two-week event. World renowned for its masks and costumes, visitors come from all over the world to join in the festivities. It starts in February and ends the day before Ash Wednesday, when Christians have 40 days of Lent before Easter celebrations.
All people can join in the celebrations. There are balls held throughout the festival with strict costume codes (I’d love to attend on of these someday!). If you aren’t a fan of masks, you can opt to have your face painted by one of the many ladies lining the streets with paint brushes in hand.
I went to see the carnival on the last day, also known as Shrove Tuesday. I love dressing up and so the first thing I did was buy a mask, which I then wore throughout the day. Getting lost in the Venetian alley’s and seeing people dressed in period costumes was like stepping into a history book.
Searching for masks, you’ll see both cheaper mass produced ones and the authentic hand-made ones, made from porcelain, leather or glass. A variety of shapes and colours are available. There are also mask making contests and a fashion show-style parade and competition for best dressed which is held in San Marco Square.