The Venice Carnival 2008 is scheduled for January 25 to February 5. The Venice Carnival is the most internationally known festival celebrated in Venice, Italy, as well as being one of the oldest. The carnival, with its tradition of mask-wearing, has existed in some form or another since the 13th century. The masks themselves - along with the traditional bauto (hood and cape), tabarro (cloak) and tricorn hat - were favored because they conferred complete anonymity on their wearers.
The above photograph is courtesy of _Olia i klod , a Franco-Russian couple & Flickr members.