Tradition of holding, types of masks.
Masks, colorful costumes, mysterious stranger and gallant Cavaliers. All of this carnival. During the existence of the Venetian carnival not only did the tradition of the event, but also a certain set of masks, each of which has its own history.
The first mention of the carnival in Venice is part of the distant 1094. However, until about the beginning of the 14th century masks were not yet mandatory attribute of the carnival. That all changed in 1162: festivities in Piazza San Marco. It is believed that since that time, the carnival became an annual event.
In the 18th century, the carnival has lost its former popularity, but in the 70-ies of the last century, the Italian government decided to make the carnival a symbol of the national, including Venetian, culture and a means of attracting tourists. Today at the carnival in Venice annually attracts up to three million people.
Traditionally, the week of carnival opens oldest Venetian holiday — Festa delle Marie, which is dedicated to the liberation of the Venetian girls, kidnapped by pirates from Istria. By the way, since 1996, the Venice carnival has its own anthem. Its author was a famous couturier Pierre Cardin.
Within the carnival is held, and the contest for the best mask. It is a colorful and interesting action for about ten days in the month of February.
The history of masks
Medieval Europe is known for its social stratification. Rich and noble defiantly not interested in less famous fellow citizens, but from time to time wanted to mingle with the crowd, get to know ‘the other world’.
Such forays were made for different purposes: from finding out people’s attitudes to holding secret meetings with vending. At some point, the masks were used so often that the authorities of Venice had to ban them wearing on any day except the days of carnival.
All masks, which can now be found on the carnival festivities in Venice are divided into two groups:
Masks of the Italian Commedia Dell’arte
The classic mask is not connected with the theatre.
The masks of Commedia Dell’arte
Columbine. According to the legend, this mask was invented for the incredibly beautiful actress of Italian Comedy named Columbine, who did not want to completely hide his face. Therefore, in the plays she appeared on stage in the ornate mask.
Harlequin. Classic mask of this character is as follows: black color with a huge wart on his forehead. The forehead and eyebrows deliberately highlighted, with black tousled hair.
Brighella. The mask of this character of Commedia Dell’arte was this: hairy, dark color, with a black mustache and black sticking out in all directions with the beard.
Pantalone. His mask is red or brown (earthy) color, it covers half the face; his long, aquiline nose, gray mustache and pointed goatee.
Pulcinella. Mask with a big “petosiris” or with a curved hook nose
All of these helmets today are most often found at carnivals Columbine and harlequin, however, other characters from time to time meet in the carnival crowd.
The classic mask
Characters not related to the theatre in the carnival tradition of Venice six. And among them there is one animal mask. This Is A Cat . The history of this mask is very interesting. There is a legend that a man from China came to Venice penniless, but with a cat.
Though the animal was old, it did not prevent him to catch all the Palace mice, incredibly pleased with this former Venetian Doge. The cat was left in Venice, and the Chinese returned home a rich man.
One of his wealthy neighbors decided that time in Europe even for such animal pay a lot of money, precious silk, the price will be higher and went on a long overseas country with a load of tissues. Doge was ecstatic and offered to give them the most valuable thing he has. The merchant, of course, agreed. So poor old cat was again in China.
Moretta. This is a oval mask of black velvet. In Venice came from France. A characteristic feature of this mask is the lack of a mouth. Traditionally held on the face by pin, which is clamped in his teeth, not giving so to speak. Another name mask — Servetta Muta (“silent servant”). Considered one of the most feminine masks.
Mask Venetian lady . Very elegant and refined mask creates the image of a noble beauty era of Titian. The woman has several varieties, one of them is liberty. Under this mask often hid not only the face but also the head entirely, putting special wigs, hats or turbans.
VOLTO is one of the most popular carnival masks in Venice. It was worn by many ordinary citizens and often because this mask is called “Citizen”. Another popular mask is called the Bauta .
She appeared in the 17th century and was very popular among aristocrats and other Venetian nobles. Besides the possibility to eat and drink without opening the face, Bauta, because of its unique design, changed the sound of the voice to its owner. Thus man remained almost guaranteed not recognized.
And last, the most ancient and most terrible Venetian carnival mask, Doctor . Masks like this are worn by doctors, when the city was overtaken by this terrible disease that claimed many lives in the Middle ages.
In Church and her long nose was placed a selection of scented oils and other substances — they were thought to protect against plague. Over the clothes, the doctor was wearing a dark long cloak made of linen or waxed matter what pretty looked like an ominous bird.