IN PICTURES: Feast your eyes on the Venice Carnival costumes

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Revelers pose during the Venice Carnival in Venice, Italy, on February 3, 2018.

Revelers pose during the Venice Carnival in Venice, Italy, on February 3, 2018.

web_photo_venice_carnival8_040218

Revelers pose during the Venice Carnival in Venice, Italy, on February 3, 2018.

Revelers pose during the Venice Carnival in Venice, Italy, on February 3, 2018.

VENICE - You&39;d be forgiven for thinking you&39;ve tumbled back in time into a Shakespeare play or a masked ball from a period film. 

The annual Venice Carnival is currently underway in the Italian city, known for its architecture, ice cream and the gondolas decorating its beautiful waterways.

Every year, thousands of tourists flock to Venice to take part in the festival, during which masked balls are held in palaces, and concerts and gondola parades are held in the city squares and canals.

The carnival, based on a circus theme, is one of the oldest in the world, originating in the 11th century and seen as a period of celebration before the 40 days of Lent kicks off before Easter. 

CREDIT: African News Agency/Xinhua/Jin Yu

CREDIT: African News Agency/Xinhua/Jin Yu

CREDIT: African News Agency/Xinhua/Jin Yu

CREDIT: African News Agency/Xinhua/Jin Yu

CREDIT: African News Agency/Xinhua/Jin Yu

CREDIT: African News Agency/Xinhua/Jin Yu

CREDIT: African News Agency/Xinhua/Jin Yu