Venetian festivals are held in cities in Europe and North America. They are based on carnival, or carnevale, the period just before Lent, as celebrated in 1600s in Venice, Italy. Venetian festivals re-create the fantasy of the earlier events with food, costumes, masks, music, theater, juggling and other spectacles. The masks and costumes are worn by people who often travel from other countries to attend and perform (or parade) in these festivals. The elaborate costumes and masks are handmade by artisans from various countries. Many involve male and female or group versions and are based on old Venetian characters and costumes.
The Venetian Macao is a casino resort in Macau, China owned by the Las Vegas Sands hotel-casino chain. The Venetian is 32-story, $1.8 billion anchor for the 7 resort hotels which are under construction on the Cotai Strip in Macau. The 10.5 million square foot Venetian Macao is modeled on its sister casino resort – the The Venetian in Las Vegas – and is the largest single structure hotel building in Asia and the second-largest building in the world.
The main hotel tower was finished in July 2007 and the resort officially opened on August 28, 2007. The resort has 3000 suites, 1.2 million square feet of convention space, 1.6 million square feet of retail, square feet ( m²) of casino space – largest in the world – with 3400 slot machines and 800 gambling tables and a 15,000 seat arena for entertainment/sports events.
Attractions include a replica of the Grand Canal in Venice including St. Mark's Square and the Rialto Bridge where visitors can take gondola rides to the accompaniment of Italian opera singing. The Canadian circus troupe Cirque du Soleil plans to open a residency show at the hotel in the spring of 2008.
The current English Premier League champions Manchester United and teams from the NBA were invited to play at the Venetian Macao respectively in July/August and October 2007 to coincide with the opening of the $3.2 billion USD Venetian Resort. It was the first appearance by Manchester United in Macau to compete against Chinese Super League's Shenzhen Football Club.
Current World no. 1 tennis player Roger Federer will play former champion Pete Sampras, in a best of 3 sets exhibition match in the Venetian Arena in an event billed as The Venetian Macao Tennis Showdown on 24 November 2007 at 2pm. All the tickets were sold out within hours. The Venetian Arena has a capacity of 15,000 people.
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