Venice is famous for its magnificent national holidays. Every year Carnival of Venice alone attracts thousands of enthusiastic visitors from all over the world. The carnival was held in 1296 for the first time and lasted six weeks. The holiday was so lush and extravaganza that rumors about it spread quickly over all the nearby states. In the beginning of the 14th century the question of class struggle was among the most important ones not only in Venice, but also in other European cities. A unique holiday, during which people hid their faces behind colorful masks made it possible to forget about the class struggle. During the celebration all people had fun on equal terms, and usual social rules disappeared along with everyday traditions.
During its century long history the carnival has changed a lot, and so today the holiday is mostly organized for tourists. Within several days the streets and squares of the city become the location of performances of acrobats, theater artists, and musicians. However, the main symbol of the holiday– a colorful mask - remains unchanged. As a rule, masks are the most popular souvenirs bought by tourists.
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