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The Most Beautiful Costumes You Can Imagine

Updated on March 31, 2020
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This author loves to travel but could never imagine living anywhere other than his beloved Budapest.

Hiding behind a mask, transforming, fully succumbing ourselves to the magic - for a whole day, a whole night or even a whole week. Are there any limits for our creativity? Who could set them?

Carnevale di Venezia 2015.
Carnevale di Venezia 2015. | Source

The date of the first Carnival of Venice: 1090

It is quite a challenge to stay in Venice during the carnival. The thousand-year-old city is already crowded throughout the year, it is almost impossible to see Saint Mark’s Square without people, although the historical city had only about 55 thousand inhabitants in 2018.

From the beginning, so from the 1090s, the date of the Carnival of Venice has been adjusted to the Christian traditions: it begins a fortnight before Lent and ends the day before Ash Wednesday. Get this: wearing a mask used to be compulsory!

Two ladies in Venice
Two ladies in Venice | Source
An Easter egg with yellow bow in Venice
An Easter egg with yellow bow in Venice | Source

Apart from the traditional costumes - the basis of which is a painted mask and a headdress - one might say that costumes that freely reinterpret the carnival traditions are also gaining ground.

A great example is the mask competition organized at Saint Mark’s Square, where each year the most beautiful costume is chosen. In addition the jury composed of experts also elects the most beautiful mask according to the year’s team. In 2015, for example, the theme was food related, while last year it was “Blame the Moon”.

Above you can see the 2015 finalists.

Can you guess who won?

The winners were the stars of love!

— Mars, Venus and Cupid.
The winners of the Carneval at 2015.
The winners of the Carneval at 2015.

Venezia - Carnevale 2020

The Best Mask of the Carnival of Venice 2020

A selected jury will decide the best mask of the Carnival of Venice 2020. In the previous edition, the group “I Bambini della luce/Children of light”, from Bielefeld, Germany wore a costume created by Hors Raack in one year of work.

As regards the section “more traditional mask” this year won “Matrimonio all’Italiana”, played by two people from Naples of the Association “Borboni si nasce”.

The most original mask was that of two “The hermit crabs“, interpreted by two participants from Cremona.

A selected jury will decide the best mask of the Carnival of Venice 2020. In the previous edition, the group “I Bambini della luce/ Children of light”, from Bielefeld, Germany wore a costume created by Hors Raack in one year of work.
A selected jury will decide the best mask of the Carnival of Venice 2020. In the previous edition, the group “I Bambini della luce/ Children of light”, from Bielefeld, Germany wore a costume created by Hors Raack in one year of work. | Source

On the last day everyone becomes a creature of the water, and moves out to the lagoon. Many people even eat out in their different vehicles, and some even dare to stay the night.

The hardships are compensated for with music and firework, since tradition says that one must spend dawn on the water as well in order to get rid of illnesses for the whole year.

The “Flight of the Angel” is a traditional event that goes back to the Serenissima period where an unknown guest of Venice, flying along a rope from San Marco bell tower to the middle of the square.
The “Flight of the Angel” is a traditional event that goes back to the Serenissima period where an unknown guest of Venice, flying along a rope from San Marco bell tower to the middle of the square. | Source

But let’s not stop at Venice! You must have also heard about the Rio Carnival on the other side of the globe, which attracts even more people than the one in Venice.

Ladies parade in decorative costumes, everything is filled with glamour, with the rhythm of the drums and the sound of the pipes.

Carnival (in Portuguese: Carnaval) is a Catholic event by origin, but is also rooted in European pagan traditions. Originally, Carnival was a food festival, because it was the last time to eat abundantly before the 40 days of Lent, a period of frugality starting on Ash Wednesday. Legend says the word 'Carnaval' was derived from the Latin expression 'carne vale' which translates as 'farewell to the meat' - you could read about the history here.

Gradually the tradition was created to go once a year onto the streets to have a party together. Musical styles and other customs merged over time.

Quite the opposite was the idea in a small town near São Paulo, in Posusje de Caldas

Quite the opposite was the idea in a small town near São Paulo, in Posusje de Caldas some years ago (and I keep my fingers crossed that the initiative will one day become a tradition!) At this special carnival it is not money and glamour that is in the focus, but rather creativity and character.

I would not have guessed myself fifty or so years ago, that half of the population would one day enjoy marching out to the desert, to pay their respect to the spirits of creativity by building ever so exciting structures.

However, I like and strive for the new and powerful ideas. The festival was founded during the hippy era, this year it will be the 35th Burning Man event, which is attended by 60-70 thousands people each year.

Every costume is hand-made. The Queens of Samba, the students of a Samba school, work six months on their own magical costumes, in which they can even dance!

The garments may be as high as three and a half meters and can weigh up to 80 kilograms, while their price might reach 15 thousand euros. The inspired dancers aim to show their talent and represent that for everyone with their costumes.

Creativity is limitless: Burning Man Festival

I would not have guessed myself fifty or so years ago, that half of the population would one day enjoy marching out to the desert, to pay their respect to the spirits of creativity by building ever so exciting structures.

However, I like and strive for the new and powerful ideas. The festival was founded during the hippy era, this year it will be the 35th Burning Man event, which is attended by 60-70 thousands people each year.

Those creations that require lengthy preparations, planning and financial investment, are usually the works of artists and members of the creative industry, such as the sculpture above, called Embrace from 2014. Many groups bring special performances and shows to this extreme week, where everyone is dressed up.

All in all, it resembles a summer carnival, where at the end they set the “Burning Man” figure on fire - quite like the bonfire lit on the main square in the Hungarian busó tradition in Mohács.

Source

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    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      12 months ago from UK

      You have shown some amazing masks. Sadly Venice is now deserted and for once St. Mark's Square is empty of tourists, as Italy battles COVID-19.

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