'The dance of the Bull', a procession organized by the association of mask makers in Venice
For the second time, the non-for-profit ‘Compagnia l’Arte dei Mascareri’, an association of mask-makers in Venice, fighting to protect their centuries-old art, organized a masked procession across Venice, on the occasion of the Carnival of Venice. The theme of the ‘show’ was the procession and cutting off the head of the bull which was traditionally happening on fat Thursday in Venice, for centuries.
What is the story behind the bull and the pigs that are part of the Fat Thursday parade?
On “Fat Thursday” in 1162 C.E., Venice celebrated the victory upon the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico, and twelve rebel lords. Since that day, Aquileia had to send twelve loaves of bread, twelve pigs and a bull which would be beheaded in Saint Mark’s square. The bull symbolizes the Patriarch and the twelve pigs the twelve lords.
The bull and the 12 pigs were guided through Venice and mocked by the people. After the public show, the animals were butchered and cooked, and all Venetians received meat, a real treat for the working-class.
The parade re-created by the “Compagnia l’Arte dei Mascareri” will bring a huge papier-mâché bull and 12 pigs masks across the heart of Venice.
The parade starts at 3:30PM in the Campo Santa Margherita and finishes at 5:00PM in Saint Mark’s square, for the beheading of the papier-mâché bull.
No animals will be harmed. Even the animals made of papier-mâché will be treated with great care.
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