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Parades, balls, concerts, shows - and of course masks - it has to be carnival.


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Parades, balls, concerts, shows - and of course masks - it has to be carnival.

Just add water – and it is the Venice Carnival.

Ten days of masked abandon are underway in the the Italian city of canals – which has held the event for hundreds of years. This year’s theme is “‘Celebrating The Senses” and visitors have come from all over Italy and the world: “I am here because during carnival season Venice is like the cradle of the world. Everybody is here to see this spectacular carnival. It is a beautiful and unique tourist attraction,” said one onlooker. As many as one million people will partake or spectate. The carnival started with the traditional flight of an angel from the top of the San Marco bell tower. This year – in costume – a member of the Missoni fashion family. Historically, one of the original reasons for the masks was to allow debtors to move around during carnival, without being recognised by people they owed money to, something which might come in handy in the current economic climate.