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Thousands of revelers have flocked to the Italian city of Venice for the start of one of the world’s oldest carnivals.

Macheranda Grand Ball -> 07 Feb #2016 music, fantasy, entertainments https://t.co/DsVTVJdKpP #venicecarnival pic.twitter.com/ine02rfbn1— Venice Carnival (@carnival_venice) January 20, 2016

As well as the many floating displays the 18-day event will includes balls in Venetian palaces and lots of acrobatic displays.

The event dates back to the 11th century and used to run for over two months until it started to go out of fashion during the 18th century.

But in 1979 it was spectacularly revived and continues to provide people with a great excuse to dress up, wear a mask and party.

Become the master of disguise and create your own mask for carnival_venice #Venice https://t.co/8iRds0XCTI pic.twitter.com/p3HdEa8YZ9— Unmissable (Unmissable) January 13, 2016