Everyone loves a good party! And few people know how to party better than the Venetians.

The romantic canals, waterways and historic little nooks and crannies that make the watery city of Venice such an attraction for loves is in the throes of its biggest annual party... and wouldn't you know it... they're holding it right on Valentine's Day - the Venice Carnival, from Feb. 11 to Feb. 21.

The event will see people wearing colourful masks and elaborate and gorgeous costumes. The carnival is an annual festival that starts around two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Shrove Tuesday.

Every year, the organisers have a unique theme... this year it is, appropriately enough, "Life is Theatre! It's Time to Get Masked".

The origins of the carnival are lost in the 11<sup>th century... when it was held over two full months of revelry. It fell into disfavor and decline in the 18<sup>th century. It was then revived in 1979, with great success and has been an absolutely glamorous and stylish event ever since.

Incidentally, do you know why the noblemen and women of those days wore masks? Well... it was because they wished for anonymity when indulging in excesses of a certain kind! We say no more...

Instead check out these images...