“Masquerade Day”, a Costa Rican tradition

October 31, day of the traditional Costa Rican Masquerade, the traditional Masquerades are classified as handicrafts made by a manual process that includes clay, mud, to mold the face, several layers of paper, wire, putty, white glue and paint.

In different areas of the country they still maintain the tradition.

There are areas of the country in which this tradition is maintained and in it we can enjoy El Diablo, la Muerte, La Segua, La Llorona, La Giganta, El Polizonte, La Chingoleta, Padre sin Cabeza and other characters typical of the traditional Costa Rican masquerade as an important part of our most deeply rooted customs, where both the elaboration and the parading of the same, allow the expression of ancient traditions and reveal the creative talent of our artisans. In addition, popular characters have emerged in which universal and well-known characters are included and in recent years the masquerades of politicians have been included.

What is a masquerade?

In Costa Rica there is no shortage of scares and laughter in this lively spectacle. The mantudos as those who wear colorful customs are called, are in charge of chasing those present and no one is saved. Some of the characters that cannot be missing are the Devil, Death, the Headless Father and of course the famous Giganta, inspired by the “platudas” ladies of colonial Costa Rica. Without a doubt, the best way to know what a masquerade is is to live it.

Stories of the masquerades in Costa Rica.

The history of masquerades in Costa Rica dates back to colonial times in honor of the Virgen de los Ángeles in Cartago, which was the capital at the time. Masquerades are a combination of Spanish and Costa Rican aboriginal traditions. On the one hand, the typical public festivals of the colony and on the other, the Amerindian ritual acts. Currently, the masquerades are recognized by all Ticos, especially for the rhythm of the “fara fara chin” which accompanies the mantudos.

Why is the national masquerade day celebrated in our country?

As an alternative to the popular Halloween party, it was proposed to celebrate the day of the masquerades in Costa Rica on October 31, to promote the native customs of the country and keep the tradition alive, in this date, different activities are carried out where everyone can enjoy the local culture.

See the mask exhibits.

One of the most typical activities for this date is the exhibition of masks. There are few craftsmen who make the masks, so we try to visualize their work through exhibitions throughout the country. They show the different creations for the costumes of different styles used in this celebration.

Attend the mask-making workshops.

It is also super to attend the mask workshops where you can learn the basic techniques for creating the little devils, one of everyone’s favorite characters.

See the masked parades.

The main element of this day could not be missed. Masquerade parades are what everyone is waiting for. See the clowns running and dancing all over the street, the boys playing with each other trying to escape. Masquerades are an excellent time to learn more about each character and their legend.

Visit the regional fairs.

Throughout the country regional fairs are held to enjoy this date. In addition to witnessing a masquerade show, you will be able to savor the delicious Costa Rican gastronomy with its most traditional dishes.

Enjoy the sound of Cimarrones.

Music is key on National Masquerade Day, in the country you must dance to the rhythm of maroon bands that spread the sound to everyone. Do you know that their name refers to maroon animals that make a lot of noise? Well, that is its essence and that nobody stays still all go out and dance.

The Masquerade has a long tradition and are part of the Costa Rican culture, attend each of their activities, and celebrate the pride of being Tico.

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