Venezia header: Piazza San Marco - Riva degli Schiavoni


(Fat Thursday)

The Fat Thursday celebration is closely related to the history of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, consequently to the victory over Ulrico, Patriarch of Aquileia.

Ulrico's troops had attacked Venice while the "Serenissima" was busy fighting another war against the Ducati of Padova and Ferrara. Italy was a lively place, at that time.

After the defeat, Ulrico had to pay the Venetian one bull and 12 pigs, as war reimbursement.

So, from that moment on, the tradition was established of "executing" every year that same amount of animals in the San Marco square, and all the population participated to the feast, banquet, dances, acrobats.

Carnival was officially born.

"Il giovedi gasso per memoria di certa vittoria ottenuta dalla Repubblica nel Friuli
si fa pubblica festa nella piazza di S.Marco
dove assiste il Doge e la signoria
per non derrogare all'antica istitutyone"

"On Fat Thursday, in honor of a certain victory
that was obtained by the Republic in Friuli,
there is a public celebration in S.Marco square
and the Doge and all the Lordship participate
as not to infringe this old Institution's ruling"

Engraving by Giacomo Franco: "La festa del Giovedì Grasso" - 1610
Giacomo Franco: "La festa del Giovedì Grasso"
engraving (1610)

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