carnival – Wiktionary

carnival - Wiktionary KIA Carnival

Carnival in venice | tourist information

Venice Carnivale costume Venice Carnival(Carnevale di Venezia) is one of the most famous and most popular annual events in Venice (Italy). Carnival attracts large number of tourists in Venice. Nobody knows exact number of tourists these days in the city, but it is believed that during the carnival the city is visited by three million people.

Many colorful events are held on the streets of Venice during the Carnival. Street musicians, theater and circus artists perform in many places of the city. Artists and musicians from many countries come to the carnival. You will find a lot of people in carnival costumes and masks these days on the streets of Venice. As a rule, they are happy to pose for tourists (you can make beautiful pictures) for free. Many tourists also buy a mask and become the carnival participants.

large_vk-2.jpg Carnival of Venice is held every year at the beginning of the year. The carnival dates are changed every year and depends on the day, which will take place Easter. The Carnival ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter, on Shrove Tuesday (Martedì Grasso or Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday. Carnival begins on Saturday, about ten days before that date. (In recent years, carnival events are starting just a week earlier.)

Some tourists believe that the time of the carnival is not the best time for sightseeing in Venice. The streets of Venice can be very crowded these days. Winter weather can be cool. The best solution is to come to Venice twice: at the festival and at other times of the year.

  • Unfortunately, the Venice Carnival was held in virtual format in 2021.
  • Venice Carnival 2022 may be held from from February 12 to March 01 (but we are not sure).

For more information about

Venice Carnival 2022 please

visit this page.

The first documentary mention of the carnival in Venice belongs to 1094. However, the carnival traditions have much more ancient history and have their roots in pagan celebrations. It is believed that carnival was held annually from 1162. In 1296 Carnival was declared a public holiday. In the Middle Ages, carnival lasted six weeks, starting on December 26.
At that time, during the carnival, in some sense the line between the higher and lower classes was blurred. People could afford what was unacceptable in another time under the cover of the masks (once a year, it is acceptable to have no brakes). But the masks were used also by criminals, and there was constant struggle against it.

In the XVIII century the Venetian Carnival fell into decline and was almost forgotten for many years.

The carnival revival began in the late 20th century. Since 1979, the Venice Carnival is one of the brightest events in Italy. The Italian Government and the Municipality of Venice use carnival to attract tourists.

Venice carnival photo Carnival starts by holiday “Festa delle Marie” (Feast of Mary), which has a long tradition. The holiday is usually performed in the second half of the day, the first Saturday of the carnival. Twelve girls, accompanied by a long procession, walk from the Church of San Pietro di Castello to Piazza San Marco. “Mary of the year” is chosen among those beautiful girls.
Also the so-called Angel Flight is also performed at the first Sunday of the carnival at noon at St. Mark’s Square. Dressed in a beautiful costume girl goes down on a rope from the tower to the Piazza San Marco.
You can come here with own costume or buy ready-made mask on the street in Venice (prices start at 5 euros).

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There are several types of traditional Venetian masks:

Every men lie but if you give them a mask they will be sincere. (Oscar Wilde.)

Venice Carnival If you are planning to visit Venice Carnival, then it will be useful to see a calendar of events on the official website of the carnival. The largest number of events of the carnival is held in the city center, at St Mark’s Square and the surrounding streets. You can select and book hotel in Venice (Italy) for advance here.

This page has photos taken during my visit to Venice in February 2021.

Read more about Italy, about Rome, about popular tourist destinations in Europe. See also: tourist map of the world.

Walking through the streets and squares of Venice and just watching what’s happening is not the best way to spend time during the carnival. It will be much more exciting to put on a carnival costume, mask and become one of the participants of the carnival. You will get unforgettable emotions, memories and photos. Carnival costume or mask you can buy, rent, or even do it yourself. Information about one of the company of costumes and masks.

Useful links:

Children’s rides

Funfairs are seen as family entertainment, and most include a significant number of children’s rides. Many of these are smaller, platform based rides like, cup & saucer, toy sets, train rides, as well as smaller slower versions of the adult rides, Ferris wheels, waltzers, even children’s bumper cars.

Contemporary venetian carnival

The opening ceremony begins in one of the areas of Venice – Cannaregio. At 19:00, boats begin to sail along one of the canals, in which artists, musicians, acrobats and dancers demonstrate their skills. The procession is accompanied by music and lighting effects, while hungry spectators can sample Venetian cuisine.

During the carnival, which lasts 18 days, people participate in:

  • Feast of Mary – a procession in which 12 girls in ancient costumes walk from the church of San Pietro di Castello to St. Mark’s Square, where the election of “Mary of the Year” will take place.
  • Feast of all Venetians
  • “Flight of the Angel”: a girl who has tried on the image of an angel descends the rope from the bell tower of St. Mark’s Square
  • In Mestre (a suburb of Venice), a man dressed as a donkey flies from the window of the town hall
  • Competitions for the best mask and costume
  • Costumed nightly dinners and dances, etc.




has an article on:




From Frenchcarnaval, from Italiancarnevale, possibly from the Latin phrase carnemlevāmen (“meat dismissal”).

Other scholars suggest Latin carnuālia (“meat-based country feast”) or carrusnavālis (“boat wagon”, “float”) instead.[1]


Originally, a fair would also have had a significant number of market stalls; today this is rare and most sidestalls only offer food or games. The first fairground rides began to appear in the 18th century. These were small, made of wood and propelled by gangs of boys.

In the 19th century, before the development of mechanical attractions, sideshows were the mainstay of most funfairs. Typical shows included menageries of wild animals, freak shows, wax works, boxing/wrestling challenges, and theatrical shows.

In 1868, Frederick Savage, an agricultural engineer from King’s Lynn, devised a method of driving rides by steam. His invention, a steam engine mounted in the center of the ride, transformed the fairground industry in England and around the world.

History of the holiday

The Venetian Carnival has its origins in ancient Rome. Every year the Romans celebrated Saturnalia, a pagan remembrance of the god Saturn, the patron saint of agriculture. The celebration took place in December, the post-harvest time at the winter solstice.

And in chariots, people drove around the cities figures of idols, thanks to them or begging for fertility, deliverance from diseases, epidemics and cataclysms. The cabbies accompanying the chariots dressed as brightly and cheerfully as possible so that the idols had a good mood.

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Life hacks from experienced

  • It is better to visit the carnival, which is held in the autumn-spring time, in the summer there is a real bathhouse
  • Check out the schedule of events in advance
  • During the festival, housing prices increase significantly. Try to settle in Mestre – a suburb of Venice: you will have to spend more time on the road, but you will be able to save significantly
  • Better to choose an apartment with a kitchen to save money on restaurants too
  • Do not hesitate to take pictures with passers-by in fancy costumes – they only welcome this
  • Walk as much as possible and try to attend as many events as possible!


carnival (pluralcarnivals)

  1. Any of a number of festivals held just before the beginning of Lent.
  2. A festive occasion marked by parades and sometimes special foods and other entertainment.
  3. (US) A traveling amusement park, called a funfair in British English.

    We all got to ride the merry-go-round when they brought their carnival to town.

    When the carnival came to town, every one wanted some cotton candy.


  1. ^“Definition ”carnival. The Free Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  2. ^“Carnival”. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  3. ^ abcBaers, Michael (2002). “St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture”. Gale Group. Retrieved 2007-08-29.
  4. ^“Frederick Savage, Victorian fairground manufacturer of King’s Lynn”. Retrieved 25 February 2021
  5. ^ ab“Carneytown – Planning – Ride Company and Vendors”. Archived from the original on 2009-01-22. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  6. ^“Carnival Midways – US and Canada Traveling Carnivals Websites – Traveling Carnivals Directory”. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  7. ^“Strates Shows History”. Archived from the original on 2007-08-01. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  8. ^“North American Midway Entertainment Event Schedule 2007”. Archived from the original on 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  9. ^“Amusements of America 2007 Route Schedule”. Archived from the original on 2007-03-19. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  10. ^Von Drehle, David (2007-07-23). Photographs by Greg Miller. “A new Day at the Fair”. Time. 170 (4): 50. ISSN 0040-781X.
  11. ^“Frank’s Photo Gallery - Foods On A Stick At the Minnesota State Fair Minnesota 2001”. 2001. Archived from the original on September 12, 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-28.
  12. ^Forbes”””‘, Paula (Aug 10, 2021). “A Deep-Fried Stick of Butter (On a Stick) at the Iowa State Fair”. voxmedia. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  13. ^“DIY Carnival Game Idea - Fish Cup Carnival Game”. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  14. ^ abcGoldenberg, Deputy Marshal Dave (2001). “Chicanery On The Midway”. Professionals Against Confidence Crime. Archived from the original on 2008-06-10. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  15. ^Falkiner, Tim; Roger Horbay (September 9, 2006). “page 4 ”The Gaffed Milk Bottle Game(PDF). Abstract: “Unbalanced Reel Gaming Machines”. Viva Consulting. Archived from the original(PDF) on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  16. ^“Country Life”. Country Life, Limited. 7 January 1999. p. 64. Retrieved 7 January 2021 – via Google Books.
  17. ^Salter, Steven (18 September 2020). “Minehead set for funfair return”. Somerset County Gazette. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  18. ^“RMIS Library List of Amusement Ride Safety Sites By State”. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  19. ^“Amusement Safety. Org”. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  20. ^“An Encyclopedia of Novelty & Variety Performers & Showfolk”. Sideshow Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  21. ^ abNickell, Joe. “Sideshow! Carnival Oddities and Illusion Provide Lesson for Skeptics”. Committee for Skepticle Investigative File Article. Retrieved 2020-10-04.
  22. ^“Sideshow An Encyclopedia of Novelty & Variety Performers & Showfolk”. Sideshow Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  23. ^“Miscellaneous Acts”. Sideshow History. com. Retrieved 2007-08-28.
  24. ^“History Page year 1948”. Strates Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  25. ^“The ”Warren Car” aka ”The Bonnie and Cylde Death Car. Texas Hide Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  26. ^Robinson, John. “Hitler’s Car or should I say the real Hitler’s Car please stand up!”. Sideshow Archived from the original on October 22, 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-28.


Many traveling carnivals bring with them an assortment of rides. Some rides are for young children and may include a carousel, ridable miniature railway, miniature roller coaster, or an inflatable bounce house.

For older children and adults, there can be many different types of rides. These rides are designed to use height, speed, g-force, or centrifugal force to appeal to the riders’ senses. Some examples are the Chair-O-Planes, Ferris wheel, Zipper ride, and the Tilt-A-Whirl.

The rides are generally painted in bright vibrant colors such as red, yellow and orange. Multicolored lighting is also used to enhance the rides’ appearance at night. Each ride also plays its own music: a carousel may have calliope music playing while the ride next to it may have rock music for its riders. The music for each ride is usually upbeat; however, a ride such as a ghost train will have more somber music.

These rides are designed to be quickly set up and taken down, thus helping the carnival operator in moving them. Some state governments have agencies that inspect carnival rides to ensure the safety of the riders. Regulation varies by jurisdiction.[18][19]

Roller coasters

Some fairs may feature compact roller coasters to attract teenagers and preteens. Roller coasters feature steep drops, sharp curves, and sometimes loops. Roller coasters are generally the most attractive aspect of a fair, but many people come for other reasons. Fairs usually only feature one or two coasters.

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Thrill rides

There is constant innovation, with new variations on ways to spin and throw passengers around, in an effort to attract customers. With the requirement that rides be packed into one or more trailers for travel, there is a limit to the size of the rides, and funfairs struggle to compete with much larger attractions, such as roller coasters, found in amusement parks. See also amusement rides.


United states

Through most of the 19th century, rural North America enjoyed the entertainment of traveling shows. These shows could include a circus, vaudeville show, burlesque show, or a magic lantern show. It is believed that the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair was the catalyst that brought about the modern traveling carnival.

At the Chicago World’s Fair was an avenue at the edge of the grounds called the Midway Plaisance. This avenue of the fair had games of chance, freak shows, wild west shows (including Buffalo Bill whose show was set up near the fairground) and burlesque shows.

It also featured the original Ferris Wheel, constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. Following the Chicago World’s Fair, the term “midway” was adopted from the Midway Plaisance to denote the area at county and state fairs where sideshow entertainment was located.

Otto Schmitt, a showman at the world’s fair, formed Chicago Midway Plaisance Amusement Company. The company featured thirteen acts, including some from the World’s Fair, and began a tour of the northeast US. His company closed due to poor business practices before completing its first tour.

Some members of his company formed successful traveling carnivals after Otto Schmitt’s company closed.[3]
The appeal of this new type of entertainment was embraced. In 1902, there were seventeen traveling carnivals in the US.

The number grew to 46 in 1905; by 1937 there was an estimated 300 carnivals touring the country.[3] One such show, The “IT Shows”, set up yearly on probably every empty sandlot in NY’s Brooklyn, Queens, and surrounding areas.

Why masks?

During the Saturnalia period, as today during the carnival, social statuses and regalia were erased, all estates became equal to each other – ordinary people had fun on a par with their masters. So that no one was embarrassed or afraid of the consequences of the carnival, people wore masks – in this case, the person did not know who was in front of him.

Later, already in Venice, the masks got another meaning: if a woman went on a spree until morning, and a man was carried away by a beautiful young lady, he covered himself with a mask and avoided gossip. The Venetians liked this so much that they began to wear masks outside the carnival.

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