Carnival literally translated means "no meat" and are the traditional Christian celebrations and feast right before the start of the Christian period of Lent (six weeks period before Easter during which one maintains a frugal diet).
Carnival typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party. People often dress up and wear masks.
Very famous Carnivals in Italy are Carnevale di Venezia, Carnevale di Viareggio and Carnevale di Ivrea.
Carnervale di Venezia is very famous around the world; it is common for people to attend the Carnival wearing elaborate costumes and distinctive masks.