zondag 7 februari 2016

Carnival Ideas From 1940

It's this time of the year again - when Catholics celebrate Carnival. Here are some cute costume ideas from the war year 1940:




The lady on the left represents Mrs Sale. She is wearing a simple dark dress with two different sorts of fabric hanging on both sides. A clock is attached to her waist belt, pointing to 12 (midnight), the hour when all the masks are removed. She is also decorated with a milk jug, a container for sugar and various stickers with sales announcements.

We further have a lady Goldfish, a Mr Dolphin and an Unlucky Number. He is in the possession of an old black umbrella decorated with those ages old symbols of bad luck, such as spilled salt and crossed knives.

The second picture features The Market Star (on the left), with beer barrel sleeves and other consumer items, such as scissors, spoons and the like.


The lady dressed as a candle represents Light In Dark Times (God knows they needed it that year), with the candle made out of stiff carton. There is also An Archeologist and The Symphony In Black And White.

Personally I find these costumes more interesting than ready-made cheap store stuff we witnessed yesterday and what do you think? Do they celebrate Carnival where you are from?

23 opmerkingen:

  1. I have nice memories about Fasching. We used to dress in nice costumes in school. But as a country we don't have special traditions related to carnival. The French bal masqué was imported at the beginning of the 20th century by wealthy people but nowadays it remained just a party with nice costumes for children mostly.

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  2. I have always thought it's traditionally Catholic, but surely, Orthodox people have similar traditions, don't they?

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  3. Before Lent we usually have feasts that traditionally prepare us for a fasting period. Meaning cooking richly plenty of meat and diary dishes and gethering at various parties. These parties used to be a tradition in rural areas years ago. Nowadays the parties are something separate from the religious Lent preparation because it is each family's decision whether to fast or not, not as decades ago when the community used to consider fasting days very strictly. But carnival isn't related to this tradition. We call the feast before any Lent "lăsata secului" which means leaving secular affairs in favor of spiritual ones. And 3 weeks before Great Lent, especially on Wednesday and Friday fasting rules are dropped to some extent. I have never considered carnival as a type of feast before Lent. Maybe because orthodox traditions here have never involved carnival but rather small village feasts with specific food and national vestimentation not carnival costumes. But it is also true that the religious aspect has slowly been torn apart from lay traditions. Worldwide. People are on their own when they decide to keep a tradition or not. Even inside the same family, some decide against the opinion of others.

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  4. Alexandra, thank you for your explanation, that was very interesting! Here Carnival is chiefly celebrated in more Catholic parts of the country though a lot of people don't do it out of any religious feeling any more. However, it's been a Catholic tradition and many still keep it.

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  5. You are welcome. I didn't know about the Catholic tradition.

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  6. Housewife from Finland8 februari 2016 om 05:34

    We were once in Tenerife when they had carnival before fast. It was really big thing, fireworks and such, decorated cars on the streets. Too bad I was so young I remember very little.

    Here in Finland we do not have carnivals for adults, which is a shame. But on Palm Sunday kids dress as witches and go around neighborhood with decorated twigs of willows. Read more here:
    http://finland.fi/life-society/wandering-witches-welcome-finnish-easter/

    In some parts of Finland kids do something like that at st. Knut's Day, too. Traditionally young men dressed as goats then, but nowadays it is all about kids begging candy.

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  7. Housewife, thanks for the link! Here Carnival is more about farmers and their tractors, than about ladies in seductive clothes, as in Brazil. Don't know how it is in Tenerife really.

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  8. And for Easter we decorate an Easter tree...

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  9. That must be what Mardi Gras is all about in New Orleans, Louisiana in the U.S. My husband had a cousin there. She did not like it one bit. She was a devoted Catholic, but she despised Mardi Gras. I can see why. More is made of it than of Lent, which if you are a devoted Catholic, is much more meaningful. I had never heard of "Carnival" as being a Catholic event until now. I always learn from your posts.

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  10. Housewife from Finland8 februari 2016 om 09:28

    Maybe carnival can actually make people take the Lent more seriously. I mean if they have huge fiesta, eat too much, drink too much, maybe show too much flesh, then they really feel they need the purification of the Lent?

    I read one book about Grigori Rasputin. He was very devoted orthodox, but got influences from order called Khlysts. So he kind of believed, that in order to make himself pure, he has to drink and be obscene and go so down. Because you cannot regret and receive mercy if you haven't sinned.

    So I think that having a carnival before the Lent has the same kind of twisted logic. It is not necessarily totally bad thing, (if people sin in moderation), if it makes them really devote more to the Lent.

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  11. It's rather difficult to show to much flesh in our climate in February, it's more about showing off your tractor:)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO0vQSOELQc

    It's from last year, today we had a storm, so all the big parades were abolished, but my husband tells me Catholics have a special day during Lent when the fasting isn't so strict and that's when they are planning to do it.

    Further, Carnival before Lent is an old tradition, was mentioned in "Count Monte Cristo", too. I believe it's a pre-Christian tradition, to celebrate the equinox, just like "12 days of Christmas." I believe Catholic Church considered it unwise to deprive common folks of their little pleasures!

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  12. The idea of eating richly before Lent is not encouraging excesses but gives strength for the coming fasting restrictions. Rasputin is very unrepresentative for the Orthodox tradition. The week before Great Lent is called in our calender the "white week" because meat has already been dropped the previous week and only diary is accepted at this point. A good logic for me. I prefer step-by-step changes in any aspect generally.

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  13. I'm not sure Catholic Lent is at all that strict as Orthodox, but anyway, it begins tomorrow.

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  14. Housewife from Finland9 februari 2016 om 03:45

    Preoteasa, I did not mean that Rasputin would be an example of a good Orthodox. I just meant that he was very, very religious. He was not "anything goes" -christian, but sinned for purpose. And I am not saying his logic was valid.

    My point was just that usually when people have done something that does not quite fit their moral code, they are more eager to turn over a new leaf, at least for some weeks. So having carnival and misbehaving before Lent would make it easier to stick to the Lent. Remorse is a great motivator.

    But this is just speculation, since Lutherans usually do not fast (for religious reasons, that is) so I do not know that much about it.

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  15. Housewife, I understand what you mean.
    Sanne, we begin Great Lent much later this year, 14th March. Easter is on 1th May.

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  16. 14th March? That's really late! BTW, sorry that I haven't updated but I'm down with flu.

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  17. Yes, Orthodox Easter is quite different every year, first Sunday after full moon after spring equinoctium (? don't know the word). This means between 4th April and 8th May. The later Easter, the shorter next Lent. This year the Lent dedicated to the St. Apostles in June is only 3 days long. When Easter is earlier the Apostle Lent is 2-3 weeks. We have Easter according to the Julian calender, like Russians for example. There are 2 more Lent periods: 40 days before Christmas and 2 weeks in August for the Dormition of Theotokos on 15th (Mother of God).

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  18. Thanks, Alexandra, I'm feeling somewhat better today. 4 Lents are quite a lot to keep! You have an interesting Liturgical year, ours is very simple, I'm afraid, we don't even have Lent:)

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  19. Housewife from Finland10 februari 2016 om 05:42

    Preoteasa, do you find it difficult to keep the Lent? I think I would.

    It must be rather healthy to have so many Lents during the year. At least nowadays, when most people eat too much. And I do find the idea very beautiful, but since no one around me is having the Lent, it would be very difficult to keep it.

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  20. Housewife, it is not very easy because even if vegetables are very healthy I have to pay special attention to the glicemic index of food. Meat has never been a problem to elliminate, but I always think about vegans when Lent starts. If vegans survive lifelong fasting I surely will resist some weeks. Anyway, before Christmas, the Lent has all weekends with fish permitted as fish is no meat spiritually speaking in our tradition. Easter Lent has only 2 fish permissions. But with the years passing, I feel that fasting is a good instrument not a goal itself to achieve. It is like a means of transport that allows me to go faster during a spiritual journey. People with health issues around us decide to only fast some days or 1-2 weeks according to their possibilities and decision. They fast before Confession and/or Communion how long they can.

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