While in some countries all over the world like United States, Ireland, Canada and the United Kingdom, Halloween is celebrated with all kinds of customs and decorative pumpkins, in our country on October 31st we make honor to a very unique tradition of our culture: the Masquerade Day or “Día de la Mascarada”.
A masquerade is like a giant helmet where you can put the head in to represent a character. These characters can be mythical, imaginary or national and international famous people. Also, they can represent social stereotypes or political figures to make fun of them.
The process to produce a masquerade is long, very detailed and just for an artist. First, the character is molded using mud. Then, it is covered with glue and newspaper sheets making layers and is put under the sun light for drying. This part can last some days until the masquerade is completely dry and strong to be painted. Finally, a skeleton is built to use it like the body and is covered with fabric simulating its clothes.
Some of the characters that can’t miss in a group of masquerades are “la giganta” (the giant women), “el diablillo” (the little devil), and “la calavera” (the skull). Also can’t miss masquerades that represent the actual president and people who are recognized for being soccer players, actors, models, journalists, and others.
Barva de Heredia, Escazú and Cartago are the cities that support this tradition the most, because in these places artisans dedicated to this job are concentrated. But masquerades parades are enjoyed in the entire country, especially on national celebration dates or in popular festivities organized in different towns all over Costa Rica.
In masquerade parades, characters dances with clowns in the streets with the music of a “comparsa”; it is a group of musicians playing drums, trumpets and cymbals to get the spectators excited.
In La Choza de Laurel we support the national traditions offering typical shows to give our visitors a piece of our culture and traditions. Visit our website to know about the activities that we will be offering soon.