Ancient Traditions – Modern Masks
Modern Carnival Masks are made for Carnevale di Venezia or the Carnival of Venice which dates back over 1000 years. In modern times, it is a celebration of excess, to mark the beginning of the Lenten fasting which is custom for the 40 days before Easter.
In Australia, some times we celebrate Carnevale with a Masquerade Ball generally within an Italian community. It is never as they do in Venice as we may celebrate for a night or weekend but not to the degree of Venetian Carnival.
Masquerade Masks cannot be separated from Carnival and so that in Australia a Venetian Carnival will include masks.
In Venice the events of the Carnival will have a Regatta which is a boat race against the various precincts of the city. Lots of elaborate costumes, flag throwing, beauty competition and more. Of course there is are Fiestas, a Grand Carnival Ball and a best Carnival Mask competition.
What to wear
Really there is a free license to enjoy any mask and costume preferred. Carnevale is full of fun, music and costume so that it can really be enjoyed. As the Celebration is one of “excess” the Venetians really let are free to do what they desire.
As it is an Italian custom, an Italianate Mask would be ideal like any of the ones below.
So it is! A Christian Celebration, marking the start of lent, have fun with it as it is meant to be a celebration of excess.
For more about Venice, the plague, Venice and Masquerade Masks please read this article which is the product of over 20 years of research.
I love all things Masquerade…. I hope I have inspired You!