It is the most anticipated Venetian event of this season, and certainly, the most riveting one.
Its calendar, at least in Venice, is linked to Christian tradition and thus to the “falling” of Easter together with Ash Wednesday, on the calendar this year on the first of March, which begins Lent and thus a period of penitence.
This great feast will thus begin with the first event linked to tradition, the Fête of the Marys, in memory of the tribute the Doge offered every year to twelve lovely girls chosen amongst the populace. It historical re-enactment will feature a procession in costume accompanying the chosen girls from the ancient basilica of St. Peter of Castello to St. Mark’s Square, to present them and invest one of them at the end with the title of most beautiful “Mary” in town.
Then it will be the turn of the Flight of the Angel, a revisitation of the ancient Flight (or svolo) of the Turk, the event which officially opens the Carnival festivities with an exciting and scenographic flight of the Mary (in the guise of the Angel in this case) from the loggia up on St. Mark’s Bell Tower.
All the other events will take place between here and Shrove Tuesday – marked by the election of the Mary for the 2017 edition and its shutdown signalled by the Flight of the Lion – including among others the Competition for the Best Mask, with its rendez-vous twice daily, and the great Giovedì Grasso Party with its spectacular conclusion of the Beheading of the Bull, the revisitation of an ancient anecdote dating back to the year 1162.
Among the many events following each other day by day, in a calendar which will continue to be updated right up to a few days prior to the commencement of the event, there will be no lack of parties and dinners in the palaces, true cult moments during the Venetian Carnival, when it will be possible to relive the sophistication, the opulence and the magic of ancient eighteenth century festivities.