Venice Carnival is probably the most famous Venetian fest.
In Catholic Calendar, Carnival marks the beginning of the period of Lent, the forty days before Easter when believers are requested to behave and eat according to Church’s indications. Therefore, the original meaning of the word Carnival was “Goodbye to meat”, as people were expected not to consume it again until Easter.
Therefore, Carnival was a period for parties and pleasures before the strict Lent: Venice Carnival was particularly funny, thanks to a huge number of parties, shows, masks, theatres, and casinos. There had even been periods when Venice Carnival lasted for a very longtime, from Saint Stephen (after Christmas) until Lent, while today it only lasts about two weeks.