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Maschera Veneziana: Unveiling the History Behind Venetian Masks

Posted by Venetian Mask Society on 9/9/2014 to Blog
At masquerade balls, men and women all over the world, dress themselves in costumes with various beautifully crafted masks. Venetian masks, in particular, are oft seen at masquerade balls, characterized by their ornate design and bright colors. With its various designs and styles, each represents a certain tale that inspired its creation.

When it comes to Venetian masks’ history, few know whence they come from. Why are we so enamored by this tradition? Let’s find out…

How It All Began

The tradition took effect in the thirteenth century when the people of Italy, Venice, held events from December 26th right up to the beginning of the Lent season. During this season, the barrier between the upper and lower classes was momentarily struck down. People from all classes, the aristocrats and the peasant, interacted freely without divulging their identity.

The Veil Of Freedom

With their identities concealed, men and women from different social classes were free to act upon their deepest desires. After all, in the small city of Venice, there was always a chance someone would recognize the young heir of a noble or the fishmonger’s son with the aristocrat’s daughter.

Hence, the mask took on the role of a mischief veil, where Venetians indulged in illicit acts of gambling, flirting, clandestine affairs, dancing, partying, promiscuousness, etc.

The Pragmatic Solution Or An Immoral State?

With the tradition in play for years, many asked the question: What was the real purpose behind this, and was it morally correct?

Venice was among the most prosperous regions back then, , and the nobles were perhaps the only ones capitalizing its prosperity. The mask served as a way to provide the poor with a voice, if not the face. But even with the temporary freedom, there was a high price.

The state of Venice eventually descended into a hub of immorality and decadence. Gambling was rampant. Sexual dalliances were high, even among the clergy.

The End Of The Era Of Masquerade - A New Beginning

Watching the city crumble with moral decay, the Catholic Church took a stand, sternly declaring the ban of the Venetian mask before Lent. This ended the period of the masquerade and instead was replaced by the carnival.

With the establishment of Venetian Masquerade now collapsed, rose from the ashes a tradition that would evolve and be adopted worldwide…the masquerade ball parties as we now know it.

For a masquerade, or a carnival, having the right mask means everything! Check out our range of individual or wholesale Venetian masks, cloaks and costumes now at the best prices!

Get everything, Just a Click Away! Venetian Mask Society Has All You Require!

Venetian Mask Society is an online North County San Diego based store that aims to be one of the leading Venetian and Masquerade mask and décor supplier, providing customers with genuine line of over 300 hand-crafted, innovative and stunning Venetian Masks, Venetian Cloaks, Costumes and accessories  of exceptional quality and novelty.

For exceptional customer support, advice or any questions, please call us at 1-866-997-0870 or email us [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you!