At their February meeting PAWS were entertained by John Wrigley and his slide show of Carnival Time in Venice. John bought along his extensive collection of slides showing the many sites of the city together with various people in costumes and masks. The origins of Carnival go back to 1162 and the word itself means “Farewell, Meat.” As lent (which begins on Ash Wednesday) obliged people to fast, it was an excuse for a party that echoed pagan festivities prior to fasting. After a Republican uprising, a tradition of slaughtering a bull and pigs in the Piazza San Marco, to commemorate the victory, begun around Shrove Tuesday. The celebration gradually grew and the introduction of masks began in 1268.
PAWS’ next get together is on the 26th March and as it’s their AGM it is a closed meeting. As well as the routine business they will have a “Flapper Theme” and a light supper.