Venice Carnival Attendees Kick off Celebration by Donning Festive Venetian Disguises

The Venice Carnival began centuries ago as a period of excess before Lent, the 40 days of fasting between Ash Wednesday and Easter.

It's like stepping into a time machine.

Inside the Monaco Grand Canal Hotel, revelers enjoyed a trip to 16th-century Venice.

For a moment in time, they forgot about their COVID masks and wore Carnival masks that have made Venice famous worldwide.

"It's something like it's out of the time," Elodie Sagot, one Carnival-goer from France, said. "And we are out of the time here, out of COVID, out of everything. It's just a fabulous night."

The Venice Carnival began centuries ago as a period of excess before Lent, the 40 days of fasting between Ash Wednesday and Easter.

Masks in Venice have several historical origins. In the 18th century, noblemen wore masks to stay anonymous while voting on council matters.

Some masks were used to allow people to avoid the bad smell of the canals, or if the plague hit the city. Others, more ornately decorated, were used only during carnival season.

Venice Carnival runs until March 1 this year.

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