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The after-work Milano da Bere parties organised by the Haze Team are back next week with the theme being the Carnevale Di Venezia.
The event will be held at the Patio Cocktail Bar in Nicosia, starting from 6.30pm on Thursday, February 19, with the buffet closing at 8.30pm followed by all-night partying driven by resident DJ Andrew P.
The main sponsor is Chivas, distributed by LaikoCosmos Trading and is supported by the Financial Mirror and MediaPro.
Inspired by the world-famous Carnival of Venice famed for its elaborate masks, the hosts will encourage guests to dress accordingly, or don one of the many elaborate masks that will be available.
The annual Carnival of Venice dates back to the mid-12th century to mark the victory of the “Serenissima Repubblica” against the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico di Treven. In the honor of this victory, the people started to dance and make reunions in San Marco Square, while the festival became official in the Renaissance.
By the 17th century, the baroque carnival was a way to save the prestigious image of Venice in the world, but by 1797, under the rule of the King of Austria, the festival was outlawed entirely and the use of masks became strictly forbidden. It reappeared gradually in the 19th century, where it became an occasion for artistic creations.
After a long absence, the Carnival returned to its full glamour in 1979 when the Italian government decided to revive the history and culture of Venice, and sought to use the traditional Carnival as the centrepiece of its efforts. The redevelopment of the masks began as the pursuit of some Venetian college students for the tourist trade.
Today, some 3 mln visitors go to Venice every year for the Carnival where one of the most important events is the contest for la maschera piu bella (“the most beautiful mask”) placed at the last weekend of the Carnival and judged by a panel of international costume and fashion designers and based on several distinct styles of mask:
The Bauta is designed to cover the entire face, with an over-prominent nose, a projecting “chin line”, and no mouth, accompanied by a red or black cape and a tricorn.
The Columbina is a half-mask, only covering the wearer’s eyes, nose, and upper cheeks, decorated with gold, silver, crystals and feathers, held up to the face by a baton or tied with ribbon as with most other Venetian masks.
The Medico della peste, with its long beak, is one of the most bizarre Venetian masks, though it did not start out as a carnival mask at all, but as a method of preventing the spread of disease in the 17th century, worn with a black hat and long black cloak, white gloves and a stick.
The Moretta (meaning dark one lady) or Servetta muta (meaning mute servant woman) was a small strapless black velvet oval mask with wide eyeholes and no lips or mouth worn by patrician women and sometimes finished off with a veil.
The Volto (Italian for face) or Larva (meaning ghost in Latin) is the iconic modern Venetian mask: it is often stark white, frequently gilded and decorated, and is commonly worn with a tricorn and cloak. It is secured in the back with a ribbon.
Venetian masks featured prominently in the film Eyes Wide Shut, the 2009 video game Assassin’s Creed II and the 2005 video game Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves. The first episode of the game is set during Carnivale, and large enemies wear masks.
For information call the maitre of the Haze Team, Andreas Christodoulides, on 99 306254 / 99 092932 or visit www.hazeteam.com