The Grand Canal of Venice came alive on Sunday as a flotilla of boats sailed down the Italian city's iconic waterway in celebration of the Venice Carnival.
The annual event drew thousands of revellers, dressed in brightly coloured outfits, who attended the grand opening in St Mark's Square.
This year's event, which lasts till Feb 28, kicked off with majestic floats on the water last Saturday, followed by Sunday's parade of boats by members of the Venetian Rowing Association. The procession started at Punta della Dogana and ended at Rio di Cannaregio.
This Saturday, there will be the Festa delle Marie, in which 12 women will re-enact a traditional ceremony. Other events include a chocolate festival and masked dance lessons.
It is said that the Venice Carnival marks a victory of the Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia against the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico di Treven, in the year 1162.
In honour of this victory, people would dance and make merry in the streets of the city.