Carnevale ~ February 14 – 24, 2009
Carnevale, also known as Carnival or Mardi Gras, is celebrated in many parts of the world. However, when it comes to Carnevale in Italy all eyes turn to the Carnevale di Venezia, as it is one of the oldest, with it’s first Carnevale recorded in 1268. Carnevale typically begins 40 days before Easter with the final celebration on Shrove Tuesday (Martedì Grasso or Fat Tuesday) which then leads into Lent. This years Carnevale in Venezia will run from February 14th to the 24th and is sure to deliver the beautiful costumes, masks, and intrigue that makes up the Carnevale di Venezia.
I personally have never been to a Carnevale in Italy (yet) but growing up in school we learned about the festival and also the traditional costumes one might find roaming Venezia during this particular celebration.
In preparation for the upcoming Carnevale let’s take a look at a couple of the more traditional and known players of this breathtaking and visually stunning festival.
Arlecchino (Harlequin) ~ known for his jacket and trousers with bright mulit-colored patches and a belt which holds a spatula or slapstick His mask is black with small cut out eyes and crooked eyebrows revealing his trickster nature.
Pantalone ~ usually seen wearing a black cloak over his shoulders over tight red trousers and jacket and his slippers are curled and pointed up at the ends. His mask accentuates a large hooked nose and his beard is long, resembling a billy goat.
Pulcinella (Punch) ~ is a simple costume with a baggy white long jumpsuit and long white hat. His mask is black with a hooked nose and wrinkles.
There are many more characters and masks that have become staples for the Carnevale in Venezia. Which is your favourite?