Festivities, Holidays and Traditions in Venice
Venice Carnival is the celebration par excellence of this Italian city and it is usually held in early February. This one of a kind carnival has been celebrated for centuries and it always has been one of the Venetian aristocracy's favorite celebrations. The most distinctive feature of this carnival in Venice is that people dress like they were in the XVII century and wear all kinds of masks to hide their identity. The population goes back in time and take to the streets their outfits from the 17th century and join the street parties and parades. At the same time this offers a unique experience for tourists.
The Redeemer Celebration
The Redeemer or Redentore celebration is one of the Venetians' favorite holidays and it is organized during the month of July. The holiday celebrates the end of the plague in 1577, at this time several churches were built in Venice, including the Redeemer church. On this day different boats built a bridge across the Giudecca canal. The Venetians cross the canal jumping from boat to boat to reach the church where the celebrations take place. At night time, lots of families organize dinners on board of their boats to watch the fireworks that last more than half an hour. Then, there are parties that last till dawn on the canals and streets.
The Historical Regatta
The Historical Regatta is one of Venice's most famous races. It is celebrated on September 1st and commemorates the Queen of Cyprus who renounced her throne favoring Venice in the late fifteenth century. On this day, all gondoliers dress up medieval style and go to the Grand Canal with their gondolas are decorated following the style of the famous Bucintoro, an old boat that represents the Serenissima and leads the procession. After the show, comes the competition in which the best gondoliers and rowers of the four medieval maritime republics involved: Venice, Pisa, Amalfi and Genoa compete.
Mostra de Cine
The Mostra de Cine is one of the most emblematic film festivals in the world of cinema and it's very important for Venice. It is held in early September, and during this time famous actors and directors from all continents gather here to showcase their new movies. The festival is organized in the Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido. One of the most anticipated moments for the audience is seeing the actors arrival, traveling by gondola and crossing the canals in order to get to the festival.
The Vogalona party is one of the newest Venetian traditions. It started in 1974 to protest against the large number of motor boats that had been replacing the traditional gondolas in Venice's canals. Since then, hundreds of rowing boats sail a 30 km distance from Venice to Burano island and it has become a great show for the Venetians to enjoy.
The Sensa celebration takes place in the month of May, precisely the Sunday after the Virgin's Ascension. This celebration is a real tradition in Venice and represents the union of the former governor of Venice, the Dux, with the sea to celebrate Venetians victory against Emperor Barbarossa. The Italian city has always been related to the sea and one of the gestures most repeated by the Dux for years was to throw a ring on the bow of his official galley, the Bucintoro, as a symbol of power and to assert their superiority through Venice's connection with the sea. Currently this festival is celebrated with a parade of officials on board of the current Bucintoro that go to Lido island and a regatta that closes the festival.