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Carnevale di Venezia (The Venice Carnival). Having started in 1162, Carnevale, with its controversial past, finally re-emerged in 1797 where it became a canvas for artistic creations, which is what we are all about. The artistic costumes and masks were worn between the festivals of Saint Stefano (Dec 26th) and the beginning of Carnevale (Tuesday before Lent). Now, it runs from January 26th to February 12th, with people dressed in elaborate outfits and costumes, descending from all over the world to enjoy this colorful and artistic celebration. The words ‘carne’ and ‘vale’ translate to ‘farewell to meat’, something we are all about. In preparation for the 40 days of Lent, people could not eat a number of foods, including meat. Masks became very popular in the Venetian culture and allowed both the most and least noble of people to conceal their identities as they walked the streets of that beautiful city. As masks became forbidden as a full-time habit over time, Carnevale was a time of letting go, of enjoying pleasures without judgment or criticism…as no one knew who you were. This ties lovely colors evokes images of the happiness and celebration one enjoys at Carnevale and in life.