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Halloween Masks

Masks have been used as a way to disguise, hide or protect human faces in many civilizations since remote ages. The tradition of using a mask is a worldwide phenomenon, followed from ancient civilizations to modern day cultures of every society from Alaska to Africa, Mexico to Spain, Caribbean Islands to Japan, which were mostly festival masks, ceremonial masks or theatrical masks or as a way to hide or indulge in acts that were prohibited in a society. Wearing masks is now an important part of Halloween costuming. No Halloween costume is complete without a mask to give that perfect disguise. Masking during Halloween is not something new, there is history behind the modern day Halloween masquerade, so let's read through it.


History of Masquerade tradition in Halloween

The contemporary Halloween celebration originated from pagan Celtic festival of "Samhain" i.e., coming of the cold harsh winters and time for final harvest. The Irish immigrants brought Halloween traditions and many more cultural practices of the Celts to America, when they moved to the land after their major potato crop failed. The ancient Celts strongly believed that those who died throughout the year gone-by, their souls would come back searching for living bodies to possess. The living people objected to this and so on 31st October night they lighted fires in their houses to ward off these evil spirits. They also mass paraded in the neighborhood dressed in ghastly costumes and frightening masks to scare away spirits.



Types of Halloween Masks

Masks have now become an integral part of Halloween celebrations. Some people prefer masks to wearing messy makeup to complement their Halloween costumes. Most popular form of masks for Halloween are the foam latex faces of demons, devils, vampires, ape-men, mummies, aliens, skulls, witches, werewolves, zombies and other creepy monsters. Besides these horror masks the market is flooded with pop star or famous celebrities masks like that of Michael Jackson, Madonna, George Bush, etc. or cartoon character masks of Mickey Mouse, Bob the builder, Johnny Bravo, Tom and Jerry, Spider Man or animal masks.

There are many styles and types of masks available today online or in the local malls. The common raw materials that are used in making masks are clay, cornhusks, furs, cloth, feathers, horn, fiber, grass, metal, leather, shell, paper, stone paper, and wood.

Halloween Costume Masks

With the increasing craze of movies and cinema world within people, the Halloween masks have also taken inspiration from it, and introduced a whole range of scary looking costume masks or intimidating costume masks of popular characters from famous movies like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Spiderman and so on. You can wear a mask with an elongated beard and get a Halloween get up of Dumbledore's look or get a mask of pointed nose and drooping ears and impersonate the iconic Dobby look from Harry Potter. Paint yourself green as Shrek or scare people to the highest degrees with a Jason Hockey or Freddy Kruger mask. The most famous are the pirate look of Jack sparrow from the Pirates of the Carribean franchise, and the Joker look of Dark Knight, for both you will have to take special care with costume and make up.

Another type of masks that are quite easy to wear comprises the Venetian masks with their wholly Venetian designs. The one thing that demarcates Venetian masks from other kind of masks is their non-sticky covering that has to be worn only around the eyes area. They can be experimented with feathers made up of spider nests and can be added with a terrifying touch which you can incorporate into Halloween costume masks.

Masks for decoration

Halloween masks can not only be used for Halloween costuming but also for decorating interiors or exteriors of houses during Halloween or otherwise. Paste or tie the frightening faces on the wall or ceiling, and you can also attach one of the most scary face on the entry door, and tie it with string in such a way that it will swing in front of the face of your guests as soon as they open the door.

You can make your own homemade mask with basic material required for craft making. Or there are free printable mask patterns available online to choose from. Something that is new is the mask-designing kits that can be bought either online or from craft stores and you can be creative with the art of making masks for this Halloween.



Last Updated On : October 10, 2011

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