venice carnival custome

Venice Carnival

Every year in the famous lagoon city, the celebrations for the Carnival of Venice begin: in every corner of the city, you can experience an enchanting and magical atmosphere.

The city of Venice celebrates Carnival in grand style: the organized events and festivities are ready to transform this city into an explosion of colors and laughter.

Thousands of masks can be seen in the streets and on the islands of the city. The classic masks are famous all over the world, but in recent years new characters have emerged, surprising those who choose to spend one or more days on holiday here.

How is Carnival celebrated in Venice?

For those who want to understand how to celebrate the Venice Carnival, they need to spend at least one or more days immersed in the festivities that take place in this city. Thousands of people, of all ages, genders, and nationalities, fill the streets and squares of the islands that make up Venice to participate in the exclusive events held in the Venetian palaces.

Experiencing the Venice Carnival is an event that brings people to discover rituals and traditions that have been passed down for centuries. The “Flight of the Dove,” the “Festa del Gentil Foresto,” and the theater of “Commèdia dell’Arte” are some of the most important events.

The Major Events

The opening ceremony begins with the Venetian Festival on the water along the Cannaregio Canal. Boats decorated and transformed for this event float on the calm waters of the canal, carrying masks and puppets in a succession of colors and audio-visual shows.

The water parade by the Coordinamento Associazioni Remiere Voga alla Veneta kicks off the second day of the Venetian Carnival. Starting from Punta della Dogana, the parade reaches the Cannaregio canal, greeted by spectators gathered along the banks. Thousands of eyes are fixed on admiring the masks and costumes specially prepared for this event.

You can also delight your palate with cicchetti from the Venetian gastronomic tradition and the typical sweets of this period.

The most awaited event is the Festa delle Marie. Young girls and women of Venice wander through the city in their most beautiful dresses to compete for the title of Maria of the Carnival, scheduled for Shrove Tuesday. The procession of the Maries concludes in Piazza San Marco, where the official presentation ceremony to the challengers for the title will take place.

The Flight of the Angel of the Venice Carnival marks the official opening of the festivities in Piazza San Marco. The winning Maria of the Carnival takes a flight over the square starting from the Campanile of San Marco. At the end, a new parade of masks and historical costumes of the Venetian tradition takes place.

Fat Thursday is a day to celebrate the victory of Doge Vitale Michiel II over Patriarch Ulrico of Aquileia and the 12 rebellious feudal lords. The date was not chosen by chance, as Vitale Michiel II won his battle for the conquest of Venice on Fat Thursday in 1162. Tradition has it that on this day, the richest dishes of the Venetian menu are consumed, symbolizing the festivities that the Doge held in honor of the victory just achieved.

On the Sunday of the same week, those present in Piazza San Marco can witness the Flight of the Eagle. In this case, the identity of the person who will fly is kept secret until the last moment. During the early afternoon, the award for ‘The Most Beautiful Mask’ is officially presented. In nearby Mestre, you can witness the Flight of the Donkey: a parody of the traditional Flight of the Angel that took place a few days earlier in Venice’s most famous square.

On Monday, the festivities continue without interruption, with a series of parades and processions of masks. On this festive day, the masks do not compete in any contest.

Shrove Tuesday: this is the last day of the Venice Carnival. Before the festivities conclude, the winning Maria is proclaimed. The Flight of the Winged Lion of San Marco marks the end of the festivities for this edition of the carnival.