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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » September 28, 2012
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Focus on Festive Rituals
September 28, 2012   
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The Carnival, King of Europe exhibition at the State Ethnographical Museum in Warsaw aims to highlight similarities between winter Carnival rituals in various countries in Europe, including Poland, Romania, Italy, Slovenia and Spain.

Carnival is a festive season observed directly before Lent, usually in February, in a number of predominately Catholic countries. They come alive with public celebrations and parades combining elements of a circus, masked ball and public street parties.

Carnival rituals in various European countries have a lot in common. This also applies to the appearance of Carnival accessories. The costumes and masks on display at the State Ethnographical Museum are an example of spontaneous artistic activities in local communities. They are made from materials that often play symbolic roles. Animal fur, horns, straw—all these carry an archetypal significance with their other-worldly flavor.

Costumes worn by the main figures of Carnival rituals have many common features. One such figure is a straw or furry bear.

The exhibition includes ethnographic films that show various unique forms of Carnival rituals in different countries in Europe.

until Oct. 14
State Ethnographical Museum; Warsaw, 1 Kredytowa St.
tel. +48 22 827 76 41 to 46 www.ethnomuseum.pl
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