One of the famous carnivals in Italy is the Carnival of Venice which is celebrated forty days before Easter. This Venice festival is very famous worldwide for its elaborate masks.
Masks are very popular items that are used in Italy and its carnivals for centuries. The local people wear these masks between St. Stephen’s Day, December 26 and the start of the carnival season at midnight of Shrove Tuesday. The mask makers are known as mascherari who is very popular in the society.
These masks are made of several materials, and some of them are made from leather, porcelain or using the original glass technique. The masks that were designed years back and are known as the original ones are very simple in design. Those days these masks were made in such a way that it looks god and also can be used practically. But in the current day, these masks are made of gesso and gold leaf. These masks are also hand painted. In some of the masks, gems are used to decorate the masks. These masks are quite expensive because of the expensive items that are added to the masks.
In the year 1162, Serenissima Repubblica defeated the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico di Treven and to celebrate the win this carnival is observed every year. In the famous San Marco Square, people started dancing to celebrate the victory. That was when the festival became official in Renaissance. According to historians, in the 17th century, the baroque carnival was a way to save the prestigious image of Venice in the world. It became very popular in the 18th century. The festival has seen many tough times, and during the rule of the King of Austria, the masks were banned. Again in the 19th century, the masks were introduced, and the festival began its momentum.
In the year 1979 after a gap of such a long time, the Carnival returned to its place. This is because before this the carnival was celebrated among communities and was a private affair. That was when the government decided to preserve the history and culture if the place by staring the carnival again. The masks were created again and were gifted to the tourists. There are also many competitions that were held and one of the famous masks making competition is the Maschera più Bella which is judged by many eminent international judges.