Try find carnival masks in Tenerife shops... It's not easy.
Many masks are sold for the German carnival. In Cologne for instance, many of almost 1 million parade spectators use them. Do they like to hide their identity during carnival?
Have you heard of the Venice carnival? It is too beautiful.
However, contrary to the Santa Cruz Tenerife Carnaval which normally excells with its uncovered Reina Carnaval, unless a child queen, Venice had some historic incidents, which some would prefer to forget.
Yet, nobody seems to mind, when manners get out of hand during Italian Venetian carnival.
Coming to think of it, a Venetian mask renders something very morbid to a face, while the white painted Geisha of Japan has still something human about her.
However, lavish costumes are created by immense artistic talent in Venice. Its maskerading flair without mask is simply unimaginable.
Germany had its lengthy Napoleonic occupation, way back, while Spain and Tenerife had a military dictator more recently. Both tyrons disliked or feared carnival, jokes and disguise.
Nowadays, carnival in all those locations is booming.
Mind Tenerife carnival didn't recover full steam until General Franco's death in 1975.
At some stage, hiding behind masks could have brought imprisonment for them.
Nevertheless later on, private Tenerife carnivals were celebrated with hooded Kuklux Clan like costumes. No face could be seen.
Note that such gear wasn't really taken out to the public.
By the way, the same outfit is also part of some Spanish Easter traditions which is normal in Easter church processions in La Laguna. By the looks of it, the Catholic church has its own rules for masks.
Admire a typical Tenerife Carnaval princess with tons of masquerading gear all around little covered flesh.
It is an honest way of showing off a beauty during carnival.
Besides, every Spanish girl and boy is told she or he is beautiful by mothers, aunts and sisters from mall on.
Why should they not show body and face?
Yet, men hardly do. They also don't wear carnival masks.
By the way, an exception is the gay parade Mascarita Ponte-talon.
There, discover some courageous guys who wear mini skirts or even beach outfits in streets at night.
Meantime wigs of all types are highly popular.
See an eye mask carnival mask depicted on your right... It was bought in Tenerife and stood the test of time.
You wear it for a short while until you realize that life without it is more comfortable.
Also, wouldn't you feel uneasy that Spanish terrorists with masks like the ETA from the north could hurt you? This is rather a threat for mainland Spain but might have discouraged production as well as imports of masks.
In case you bought yourself a cheap cellular telephone in 2011 for about €30 with €12 credit on it, don't forget that you must register it with your passport in your name, as it is seen as just as dangerous with the ETA as a carnival mask. Terrorists are feared to hide behind stolen handy phones. Your phone might be cut if you don't comply within one week.
Click here to see some carnival costumes where a most stunningly disguised girl with an eye mask called Colombana is part of a photo gallery.
Return from carnival masks to Tenerife attractions carnival to discover all about it and find updated agendas of its street shows in the major cities.
In June 2014, I saw many masks at a Tenerife museum. They were very beautiful and I would have loved to learn what they were all about. So here is an alternative by a UK museum of masks here.
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