By: Maria Libera Vallone
As Mardì Gras draws near those of you who are preparing for the Lenten season may be lucky enough to celebrate Fat Tuesday, or Carnival, in different parts of the world. In the States the biggest Mardì Gras is in New Orleans. In South America most head to Rio, but in Italy the most famous and elegant one is in Venice. Carnevale is the last day for merriment before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of fasting for 40 days of Lent leading up to the religious Christian holiday of Easter.
I was so fortunate to spend three different years at Carnevale in Venezia, two with my sister Sara, following this marvelous event and photographing the most amazing masked-costumed people on earth.
Since Carnival in Venice celebrates the mystery and enchantment of Mardì Gras, one has to literally chase most of the masked groups of people around St. Mark’s Square to get a photo. And you must be quick. These beautifully masked participants, most of them art students who design and make their own masks and costumes, don’t wait for you. If they decide to move at a moment’s notice you have to chase them down for a second chance at a photo…..and they never speak!!! But it’s all worth it!!!
Masks are sold throughout the mazed city of Venice and the shop windows are extravagant. I bought my sister a mask at our first Carnevale and still have it hanging in my home today.
In Venice there is no age limit for who dresses up. Little children can be seen in their costumes along with their grandparents and elders.
I would be interested in hearing how many of you celebrate Carnevale in some way. I’d also love to see your photos. If you haven’t, I hope I have brought some color and Thasc magic into your lives today.
Until Thursday, Buon Carnevale!!!!! Happy MardìGras!!!!!!