Carnival of Venice…Equality and Spirituality


Figura con Sole by Stephen Brigidi

The Carnival in Venice was first recorded in 1296, when the Senate of the Republic issued an edict declaring the day before Lent as a public holiday.  “Carnevale” from “carne” (meat) and “vale” (farewell), means “farewell to meat” and refers to the beginning of Lent, when Italians refrain from consuming meat until Easter. In many parts of the world, it is celebrated as “Mardi Gras” or “Fat Tuesday.”
Masks are the central feature of the Venetian carnival, and the  maskmakers (mascherari) enjoy a special place in society.
The original masks were simple in design  and  had a symbolic and practical function. Most of them are hand-painted with gold leaf applied.
Masquerading is a shared practice among Venetians. Everyone is equal behind the masks. The average citizen,hidden behind the mask, regardless of  social status, escapes the restrictions of Venetian society.  
“Ogni scherzo vale” (anything goes at Carnevale), so the mask is well accepted.
For me, Carnivale symbolizes equality and spirituality…the equality of everyone behind the mask and the spirituality of the Holy Season to come.
Herein are some magnificent photos of Carnivale taken our friend and professional photographer, Stephen Brigidi. They are a good as any we have ever seen, and we are fortunate to have Conpalla in our collection. 

Conpalla photo by Stephen Brigidi

Explore posts in the same categories: Italian Lore, Venice

Tags: , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

One Comment on “Carnival of Venice…Equality and Spirituality”

  1. Anita Iannuccilli Says:

    What fabulous pictures!!! The costumes and masks are amazing. My sister Susan and her daughter Rachael are in Venice right now. How great is that!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: