It is one of the most famous Italian carnivals in the world and attracts thousands of visitors every year to attend the busy program of events: we are talking about the Venice Carnival, an event that has been happening for over 900 years!
Its roots sink into pagan rituals that celebrated the end of winter and the arrival of spring, but the advent of Christianity has actually assimilated this celebration overturning its meaning and transforming it according to its own vision of the world in a period of celebration and libations before the narrowness of the Lent period.
The Carnival of Venice currently lasts about two weeks, during which events of all kinds are held throughout the city, from masks to dances, passing through gala dinners. For the 2018 edition the start date has been Saturday 27th January, when the Canale di Cannaregio became the scenery of the first part of an evocative evening show. The following day, the Venetian festival on water continued with the second part of the festival, which included a water procession at noon of the Voga alla Veneta Rowing Associations.
From Saturday 3rd February we get to the heart of Carnival 2018 with the “Festa della Marie” parade – the parade will depart at 2.30 pm from San Piero di Castello and reach Piazza San Marco at 4 pm after traveling via Garibaldi and Riva degli Schiavoni – masks’ contest and other appointments in the streets and squares of the city.
On Sunday, 4th February is the Flight of the Angel to officially open the carnival with the spectacular descent of the Angel of the Carnival on Piazza San Marco at 12 o’clock. The guest who will fly from the Campanile di San Marco on the square below is the winner of the Carnival “Maria” 2017 contest.
During the following week, the festivities continue between the masks of the competition and the activities related to the theme of the carnival 2018: in Piazza San Marco every day from 11 to 17 masks and actors reproduce the craft and workshop activities of the eighteenth-century Venice . On Sunday 11th February, the Volo dell’Aquila (also known as the “svolo”) takes place at 12 am, while during the day the masks will continue, with the finals of the most beautiful mask contest.
The Venice Carnival ends on February 13th – Shrove Tuesday – with the coronation of the “Maria” of the Carnival 2018 at 4.30pm and the Svolo del Leon at 5pm; both events in Piazza San Marco.
Detailed programme: Venice Carnival 2018