The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival held in Venice, Italy. The ancestries of the carnival can be traced back to the early middle ages

It is said that the Carnival of Venice was started with the success of Republic of Venice in 1162 against the Patriarch. It is around hundred years old and it is celebrated in the fasting month of Lent. Officially this festival started in that period. In Honor of the victory the people started to make reunions and they started celebrating by dancing in San Marco Square. It is celebrated for means of pleasure but it also ensures the protection of Venetians against Anguish for future. The carnival of Venice was very famous in the 18th century. However, in the year 1797, the festival was banned by King of Austria and uses of masks become strictly forbidden.


The actual purpose of Carnival of Venice was found in 1420 when the Doge held first celebration in Honor of victory over northern Aquileia. In the celebration, a bull and twelve pigs were slaughtered as a symbol of Aquileia From then till now. The event is held every year and it comprises more and more citizens of Venice. It became a national event from then and people from all over the world come to celebrate this event especially on weekends, you can see thousands of people on the roads of Venice.

The Carnival of Venice reappeared in 19th century, but for a short span of time and above all, it become an occasion for creative conceptions. The carnival is celebrated at 17th February, which includes thousands of people participating and roaming around famous canals and narrow streets of Venice wearing beautiful masks and stunning costumes for next few weeks.

Women wear the columbine half mask covering the eyes and nose along with upper face and later on it was adopted by men also. Masks have always been an important part of Carnival of Venice. These masks are either made of leather, porcelain or are made of some glass technique. Nowadays, they use the Italian masks which are hand painted and are decorated with leather.


Several different styles of masks are worn in the Carnival of Venice; some have their own unique and distinct names.

  1. Bauta

    The Bauta is a mask which covers the whole face comfortably and it is escorted by a red and black cape.

  2. Colombina

    It is a half mask which only covers a person’s eye, nose and upper cheeks and it is decorated with feathers, silver, gold and crystals. It is designed for both men and women to wear, but initially it was designed only for women.

  3. Volto

    It is an iconic Venetian mask, it is often plain white in colour decorated with gold plated and can be worn with cloak.

  4. Moretto

    The Moretto is strapless with black velvet oval mask; it has wide eye holes and no lips or mouth. It is worn by Patrician women mostly.

Costumes that are worn at the carnival of Venice are limited with the imagination of the person who is wearing it. It can have ancient Egyptian theme along with jeweled accessories. To celebrate, the city hosts fancy dinners, parades, and concerts

Annually, there are great events held at St. Mark’s Square and the best masks are awarded prizes. During the festival, the streets of Venice Carnival were full of people in masks and there was no difference amongst people.



In 1970, a popular spirit of Venice Carnival blossomed. Young gangs wearing masks started to throw eggs to the people who are not wearing masks and loud bands used to play around the streets Forty days before Easter, the carnival ends with a Christian celebration of Lent. Despite of the huge crowd and thousands of visitors, the Carnival of Venice deserves at least one visit.