Saturday, January 8, 2011

Carnival

Tonight while reading about Madi Gras, I learned that Carnival, what we know to be the period from Twelfth Night or January 6 until Fat Tuesday originated in Venice, Italy. Perhaps because I’ve always associated Madi Gras with New Orleans, France or Brazil, I found myself to be woefully uneducated in the origins of this festival. Apparently the festival goes back as far as 1160’s. The carnival we know today is a delightful mixture of the many cultures who have borrowed from the idea of celebration before fasting and is a result of several historic events. In Italy the period of carnival has varied over the years with it beginning as early as October during the 17th century in Venice to coincide with theatre openings to December 26, St. Stephens day when Italian authorities gave permission to the people to wear masks but always Carnival ended on the Tuesday before Lent. The masks themselves were worn to cloak the class distinctions and allow all the people to celebrate together.
The masks are what I find fascinating and beautiful, amazingly crafted as art
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And the costumes … wonderfully exquisite!
Ahhh, excuse me … the pageantry made me want to write in swirls …
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I wonder how many mistook their lovers in such costumes ….
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