Why Venice Carnival is firstly a Venetian festival

Worldwide known as one of the most iconic festivals in Italy, Venice Carnival is firstly a Venetian festival as it is primarily a moment for Venetians to remember their history and preserve their cultural identity. Carnival or Carnevale as Venetians say, is therefore, a festival to be enjoyed, celebrated and respected.

So, what better way to do so than to know a bit more about it and the real meaning of Carnival for Venetians? Follow us in this article to find out!

The real origin of the Carnival of Venice

It is possible to trace back the origin of the word Carnival to a document of the Doge Vitale Falier in 1094, where it was used for the first time referring to public amusements in the days preceding Lent.

In the beginning, the Venetian Carnival was intended to be an extraordinary period of time, where Venetian were allowed to have fun and let themselves go.

Actually, every citizen was involved in the celebrations, regardless of their social status, and as everyone could easily wear a mask to hide their identity: jokes, games, and teasing were allowed with no worries about breaking the law.

By this, Carnival was, in the first instance, a way to let the population of Venice relieve social tensions and level social divisions, especially among lower classes and aristocracy.

Carnival was therefore a moment to break down social barriers, mixing nobles and commoners in a period of extravagances, parties, and games. Actually, that was the essence of its transgression.

Take a look at some of our iconic masks!

Plague Doctor Mask with Drawing of Doctor Itself


Plague Doctor Mask with Drawing of Doctor Itself. Decorated entirely by hand by expert decorators. Wearable mask handmade in Venice.

Dominetto – Colombina Mask with two Wings in Metal


This spectacular mask Handmade mask made of papier-mache is decorated entirely by hand by expert decorators according to the most traditional and ancient technique of Venetian masks.

Cat Mask with Metal Ears


A face in papier-mâché, hand painted with bright colors, decorated with stuccos and pastes produced in our laboratories and covered with shimmering glitter.

How do Venetians celebrate Carnival nowadays?

We have seen how Venetians used to celebrate the carnival of Venice in the past, but how much has it changed since then and how are Venetians used to celebrate it nowadays?

The Carnival of Venice is still one of the most awaited and significant events for Venetians, who celebrate it as a special time to gather and meet with friends, but it is also a moment to remember the stories and traditions of their beautiful city.

What are then the most important Carnival events for Venetians?

  • The Venetian festival on the water is certainly one of the most beautiful and significant moments for the city: dozens of boats parade on the waters, beautifully decorated and creating a spectacle of colors and lights. This event marks the beginning of the Carnival itself and reminds Venetians of their deep connection between the water and the city.
  • The parade of the Marie is another event linked to the history and tradition of the city: it recalls an event, according to which, in the past, in Venice, 12 young girls were chosen to receive the dowry needed to get married. Nowadays, this tradition is evoked choosing twelve Venetian girls, called Marie, who parade in period costume along the streets of Venice.
  • The Flight of the Angel is another tradition that dates back to the times of the Republic of Venice. It recalls the path that a Turkish acrobat managed to make, walking suspended on a rope above St Mark’s Square. Nowadays, the acrobat is replaced by a character in costume who is lowered with a rope from the bell tower to the square.

Are you going to attend a masquerade event too? Make sure you stand out of the crowd with the elegance of an authentic Venetian mask!

Have a look at our collection of Masks for Events.

How to enjoy Venice Carnival and respect its cultural identity

As we have seen the Carnival of Venice is, first of all, a Venetian festival that gives the city and its inhabitants the opportunity to remember its history and preserve its cultural identity.

Of course, the Carnival of Venice is always open to the whole world! Actually there are so many people who share the passion and love for this great festival and come to Venice to enjoy and celebrate it!

What matters the most is considering attending this magic event as guests who respect and share the history, beauty, and tradition of such a unique city as Venice!