- Holidays and Celebrations
Costumes for a Religion Themed Fancy Dress Party
Are You Looking For a Religious Costume?
'Religion' parties as such are fairly rare - they usually comes disguised under a more catchy title such as Saints and Sinners, Angels and Demons or - going for the British slant - Vicars and Tarts. We are also aware that choosing Religion as the theme of a party can be a little contentious, but it does arise from time to time. We are just helping with some suggestions without any intention of undermining beliefs and faiths.
As usual, there will also be some tongue in cheek costumes that are designed to be humorous and not offensive.
As with most fancy dress themes, it is possible to get sexy versions of many of the ladies costumes. You may also find that your children are required to dress up in a school Christmas nativity play, and we have included some examples of the costumes that we stock for this as well a bit further down this page.
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Some Religious CostumesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Religious Costume Ideas...
Ancient Gods The ancient civilizations (Greek, Roman, Egyptian, etc.), rather than believing in one God tended to think there were a whole host of deities governing almost every aspect of their lives, from War (Mars for the Romans, Ares for the Greeks – Armour, preferably in red, works here) to Wisdom (Athena and Minerva –toga plus an owl accessory) and Fire (Vulcan or Hephaestus – he was depicted as a blacksmith).
The Egyptians had a slight variation in that the majority of their gods were depicted with animal heads – Anubis the jackel-headed God of the Afterlife; Bast and Sekhmet (lion/cat-headed godesses of Fertility on the one hand and War on the other) plus Horus, Falcon God of the Sky. Some masks are available or you might have to improvise! Ra, the Sun God/Goddess may work well here in that you can use a gold make-up base and heavy Egyptian eye-make-up to create the look. Conversely, using a black outfit and some fairy-lights you could create Nut, Goddess of the Night!
Atheist In any religious event, there will be those who will wish to go against the grain. Given the atheist does not believe in any sort of god-like entity, normal clothes plus appropriate badges (or sandwich boards) ‘Thank God I’m an Atheist’ & ‘I didn’t believe in resurrection last time either’ may be used to convey this character.
Angel Possibly one of the first choices when a Saints/Sinners event is suggested. Certainly there are many different Angel costumes available on the market, but when choosing, bear the location of your event in mind – there are some venues in which an impressive wing-span on an angel could be a problem.
Archbishop/Bishop The terms used for a regional (or diocese) administrator in several faiths. The costume is essentially the same –ornate robes with a mitre head-piece - but an Archbishop may have a more impressive crosier (the crook-like staff carried as a symbol of office).
Cardinal An official usually associated with the Roman Catholic faith and with a role similar to the Bishop in the Church of England. The costume consists of black robes with cerise/red sash and matching skull-cap headpiece.
Devil The devil has many names and a good few costumes and disguises. You should have no difficulty tracking down a Devil outfit which meets your needs.
Fallen Angel Costume
Druid Amongst the potential alternative religious characters possible, the Druids and their successors, the 'New Age' Back to Nature faiths, may be of interest.
Hare Krishna Although the Hare Krishna people in their orange/saffron robes are not as high-profile as they used to be, they are still a potentially popular 'alternative religion' choice for this theme.
Jesus Christ Arguably the most famous of men, his depiction may seem controversial, but this does not stop street-sellers offering 'Instant Jesus' costume kits to tourists in the areas around the Vatican in Rome. Costume will usually involve major elements such as a beard, loin-cloth and crown of thorns.
Monk: Although there are many different types of monks, Benedictine, Dominican, Franciscan etc, monk costumes tend to come in a standard brown or black design, with or without a cowl.
Nun Along with the Monk (above) possibly one of the safest of religious costumes. Again, a 'generic model' based on black robes with white wimple headpiece is typical, but variations such as the naughty nun (short n sexy) and pregnant nun can also be found.
Priest or Padre Although a name used for any disseminator of religion at a local level, the term is possibly usually associated with the Roman Catholic and mainstream religions - Anglicans tend to use the term 'Vicar' for their local clergyman.
Yet More Religious Costume Ideas...
Pope The head of the Catholic Church, but this costume can prove surprisingly popular.
Puritan Often persecuted for their strict religious beliefs, the Puritans used their faith to help them in their pioneering and colonising of territories, notably the New World of America.
Rabbi The principle spiritual expert of the Jewish religion.
Saints The whole ethos of being a saint is that, in most cases, they died because of their faith, and not usually in a pleasant way. For instance St Catherine died on a burning wheel - hence the Catherine Wheel firework!
A few saints you could portray:-
St George Patron Saint of England, His patronage was envoked in the later crusades in the Holy Land (although there is no evidence of his ever coming to England) His other claim to fame is as a fighter of dragons. Knight outfits featuring the red on white George Cross are commonly available.
St. Joan The Maid of Orleans Noted for leading the opposition of the English in 15th century France, but actually executed for the heresy of wearing male attire!
St Patrick The Patron Saint of Ireland Celebrated on March 15. Aside from his work amongst the Irish, he is possibly best known for having banished all snakes from the Emerald Isle.
St Peter One of the original apostles and known as the keeper of the keys to the gates of Heaven
St Nicholas The Patron Saint of Children Still celebrated in countries of Western Europe as he arrives for Christmas. He is often accompanied by Moorish assistant 'Black Peter'.
Vicar: Mainstay of the Anglican church at local level. Aside from the traditional black and white church robes, he is often depicted in casual attite (sports jacket, etc.) but wearing a 'dog-collar'.
AS mentioned earlier, a peculiar British costume theme is 'Vicars and Tarts', which is just a more mainstream version of Pimps and 'Ho's, but if you are looking for something more original to counterpoint the vicar, how about one of the SEven Deadly Sins?
Wiccan. - Warlocks & Wizards by any other name. Although many may use these characters for dress-up around Halloween, there are those who follow the faith full-time and all year round.
St. George - With His Dragon!
Kids Religious Costumes
Around Christmas time, your children's school may put on a play based on the nativity. Although, a lot of schools tend not to base their Christmas plays around a religious theme any more, some schools do still and at Props n Frocks, we stock all the Christmas nativity costumes that you could possibly need. We also stock a range of children friendly face bops in a huge range of animal faces that are also very usual for this time of the year.
These costumes could also be used for World Book Day as characters from the Bible. they can also be used for a country themed day at school, as they are ideal for Arab countries.