"I've lived in Venice since I was born, quite a long time ago. I took the picture myself last February, 2009, in Piazza S. Marco, the heart of Carnival."
About the Venice Carnival
The Venice Carnival is one of the most popular Carnivals in the world, and its origins date back to the 14th century. In those days the Carnival lasted three days, during which the masks worn by people cancelled social differences and servants could not be told apart from lords.
Nowadays the Carnival attracts thousands of tourists and it offers several days of shows, events and street entertainment of any kind. In 2010 Carnival starts on Saturday 6 February and lasts until Tuesday 16th. The date of Carnival changes, depending on when Easter falls. It ends on Shrove Tuesday: the day before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the start of the Christian time of Lent: a time of prayer and fasting before Easter.
Masks are an important part of Carnival. They are made of leather or papier-mĂ˘chĂ© and are often decorated with gold leaf, gems and feathers. The most common kind of mask worn at Carnival covers the face from the forehead to the nose and upper cheeks: that way the wearer is disguised, but can still eat, drink and talk!
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