Venice Carnival 2018

Creatum - Venetian arts and traditions

From 27 January 2018 to 13 February 2018

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From 27th January to 13th February the Venice Carnival has a lot of surprises ready for you! An unmissable program for one of the most anticipated events of the Venetian calendar!

After the success of the 2016 and 2017 editions, Marco Maccapani, the artistic director of the Carnival of Venice, will continue to promote the area and its traditions to engage and excite the inhabitants of Venice and not just tourists. Are you ready to take part in the amazing program of Venice Carnival 2018? Take note of the most exciting events and unmissable appointments of this long tradition!

Let's start with the Venice Carnival dates 2018: 18 days of celebrations with masks, fun and famous masquerades… Venice Carnival in February will open the doors of the past and show traditions that have been forgotten. From the official opening, on Saturday 27 January, to Shrove Tuesday, its program is preparing to engage and enchant thousands of people!

Great events – Carnival of Venice Dates 2018

  • Saturday 27th January – Venice Carnival opening ceremony 2018. The Carnival officially opens the festivities with the traditional Venetian Festival on the water! In the evening, the Cannaregio Canal transforms itself into a fascinating stage of water that will excite spectators from around the world… Original floating structures will transfer the theme of the event onto the water and create moments of sheer poetry!
    First show at 6.00 pm; repeated at 8.00 pm.
  • Sunday 28th January - Venice Carnival continues with the fascinating water parade of the Venetian Rowing Associations: from Punta della Dogana, the procession will travel along the Canal Grande to Rio di Cannaregio where it will continue to the applause of the audience along the banks. From midday, food stands will offer cicchetti, savoury specialties of the Venetian cuisine and Venice Carnival cakes, music and animation will surround the water parade in the Cannaregio district.
  • Saturday 3rd February - at around 2.30 pm the traditional ‘Marie parade' will depart from San Pietro di Castello along Via Garibaldi and the Riva degli Schiavoni to St Mark’s Square where there will be the official presentation of the Marie of the Venice Carnival, Italy 2018. During this fascinating ceremony of the Venice Carnival on Saturday 3 February, the tribute that the Doge used to reserve to twelve beautiful maidens from Venice will be re-enacted, providing them with jewellery for their wedding. The Festa delle Marie offers the chance to see beautiful Venetian clothes and to take part in one of the oldest traditions of the city. The festival will continue for several days, until the proclamation of the Maria of the 2018 Carnival to be held on Mardi Gras.
  • Sunday 4th February - Flight of the Angel Venice Carnival. Considered one of the most anticipated events of the Carnival, the Flight of the Angel in Venice is the official opening of the celebrations of St. Mark's Square. The Maria of the Carnival 2017 will accomplish the historic svolo (flight) from St Mark’s Bell Tower to the cheers of the audience watching the show from the square. From 11.00 to noon parades, music and entertainment will delight visitors during their waiting time!
  • 8th February – Fat Thursday: Venice Carnival February 2018 dedicates this day to a re-enactment of the victory of doge Vitale Michiel II on the patriarch Ulrico of Aquileia and the 12 rebel feudatories, which took place precisely on Fat Thursday of 1162. To remember the attempted rebellion quelled with a bloodshed, each year the patriarch's successors sent 1 bull, 12 loaves and 12 pigs to the Doge, as a gift and compensation. The bull, symbolizing the patriarch, and the pigs, symbolizing the feudatories instead, were publicly taunted before the bull's head was cut off, the animals slaughtered and cooked to be distributed during the festivities. From this anecdote comes the Venetian expression 'cut off the bull’s head’, which means to settle a matter once and for all, in a definitive, relentless and often ruthless way.
  • Sunday 11th February - the Carnival of Venice 2018 gets ready to close with three days of great events! At approx. midday the Flight of the Eagle, another spectacular flight from St Mark’s Bell Tower executed by a surprise guest, while in the afternoon there will be the award ceremony of Venice Carnival mask competition 'The finest Mask' with the awards for the best mask of the 2018 Carnival. In Mestre, the Donkey's Flight from the Tower to the stage in Ferretto Square will take place, a popular parody of the Flight of the Angel in St Mark’s Square.
  • Monday 12th February: the festivities continue in St. Mark's Square with the non-competitive parade of the finalists of the competition for the best mask.
  • Tuesday 13th February: the Carnival of Venice 2018 festivities wrap up with proclamation of the winner of the Maria 2018. At approx. 5.00 pm the symbol of Venice, the winged lion of St. Mark, is erected up St Mark’s Bell tower to fly over the audience in the square… under the guise of a beautiful painted scenic drape!

From Monday 5th to Tuesday 13th February the exciting contest to crown the best mask of the Carnival 2018 will be staged... Two parades a day will let the public admire the participants and vote for the most beautiful masks! Those chosen between Shrove Tuesday and Saturday 10th February will go through to the final on Sunday 11th!

Besides the major annual events listed above, such as the Carnival of Venice flight of the Angel, the Carnival in Venice 2018 will offer entertainment and daily events all day round, both in St. Mark’s Square and in other areas of the historical centre!

Marco Maccapani’s artistic direction aims to go back to the origins and stage a Carnival involving the inhabitants of Venice and the nearby cities of the mainland, which will be dedicated to the arts, crafts and traditions of the city, away from the emphasis on the materialistic aspects of the previous directorships. The Carnival of Venice has always been linked to a sense of freedom and irony, but is also an important cultural event that attracts thousands of visitors to Venice every year: Maccapani wishes to combine these two aspects and organize an all-encompassing event! A people's event, for the people and with the people!

In St. Mark's Square, next to the big stage where the entertainment and the most important events will take place, you will be able to watch shoe makers, costume designers, and artisans of gondolas, masks, drapes and glass at work in their stalls to relive Venice as it was in the 1700s.

Last year’s rich calendar, with over 120 events, half of which purposely staged during the Carnival, engaged both tourists and the inhabitants of Venice, once again actively involved in the celebrations...The Venice Carnival programme 2018 aims to confirm and, why not, exceed the great success of the 2017 edition!

Deserving a brief mention are also the elegant masked balls in Venice, organized both in the historic palace of the historic center and in the most exclusive hotels:

Thursday 1 February 2018

Friday 2 February 2018

Saturday 3 February 2018

Sunday 4 February 2018

Monday 5 February 2018

Wednesday 7 February 2018

Thursday 8 February 2018 (Shrove Tuesday)

Friday 9 February 2018

Saturday 10 February 2018

Sunday 11 February 2018

Monday 12 February 2018

Tuesday 13 February 2018

We recommend that you book soon your stay in the lagoon… The Carnival of Venice 2018 dates await you from 27 January to 13 February!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff