What is Carnival?


Contributing Editor Francesca Montillo celebrates the history and tradition of the beloved festival in Venice.

This article is written by Contributing Editor Francesca Montillo.

How Venice Throws a Party

You’ve certainly seen images of it, and perhaps have been intrigued by it all. The masks, the loud music, the rowdy behavior, the overindulgence, but what exactly is Carnival? There’s more to it than the masks, right?  And why even wear a mask? Well, I’m so glad you asked! Well, perhaps you didn’t, but here you are still reading about it so perhaps you have some curiosity about Carnival.

Celebrated with parties, music, dancing, parades, alcohol and excess foods, most of which are less than healthy and theoretically not eaten during lent, Carnival can last anywhere from a week to several weeks. Revelers, young, old and anywhere in between, take to the streets in celebration of what is sure to be a grand old time. The term Carnival is believed to come from the Latin terms “carne” and “vale” – or the removal of flesh. One could safely assume that implies the removal of meat from your diet, as well as pleasures of the flesh. Carnival was also a good a way to remove all those foods that were to be off limits during lent, from the home. Meats, fried foods, sweets and other gluttonous ingredients were off limits, so the best way to quickly dispose of them would be to throw a party! Out of sight, out of mind, so no temptation during Lent. Read more and view photos at The Lazy Italian…

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