Rave masks aren't the first party masks. Not even close. Because if you partied in 1500s France and lived among the lavish set, you'd probably be seen, but maybe not recognized, at a masquerade ball. That's when it all started for the party mask.
But why a mask at a party or an ultra odyssey EDM rave you ask? There were plenty of reasons then and now. And we're here to demystify the mystery.
Keep reading to find out about rave masks and why ravers wear them as the EDM pulses, the daisies twirl, and the twerking moves us, or moves our behind.
Masks made their way into French hearts together with elaborate costumes in the 16th Century when the rich played in the days leading up to Lent.
That's the 40 days before Easter when people give things up, like chocolate. It's called Carnival. Fat Tuesday is the last night, which is English for the French Mardi Gras. Think New Orleans parties on Bourbon Street with beads, masks, and boozy party favors.
See where we're going with this? Sound like a rave precursor yet? Keep reading.
In Europe, it started with wild masquerade balls and galas, emphasis on wild. People let loose. And they loved to express themselves or hide out as they became boisterous and did everything they were about to give up. So it was about expression, creativity, and escape from strict social norms.
Masked balls continued during the year to celebrate big events like marriages.
Guests were entertained by music, acrobatics, and jesters and men and women entertained each other and themselves with their ornate masks. Masquerades moved through Europe and the Italians latched on in full force.
They may as well have been twerkin' their 16th-century booties because those Venetians blew the lid off the party masks when they hit Southern Europe.
Paper mache artists and guild members came on board to craft masterpieces of art. Party masks become high-end couture, that's French for those runway fashions that stay on the runway not on the street because they're so out there.
So where did people wear this high-end fashion? You guessed it: Parties they called ballo in maschera.
Masks were adorned with all the bells and whistles, like glass beads, feathers, and ribbons, to name a few. They often looked like street-theater characters that were archetypes seen in commedia dell'arte.
Again, these pre-rave partygoers let loose, got creative, and expressed themselves with colorful masks and costumes while hearing tunes and going for wild and broke. It was easy to be free when you could hide behind your party scene outfit.
Sound familiar yet?
Rave culture embodies excess, spectacular everything, letting loose, and expression, just like those extravaganzas of old. Dance, love, art, and extravagant rave attire are top on the list of ways to express yourself.
Some ravers dress down in tees and jeans. Their scene: dance comfort. On the other end of the spectrum are elaborate costumes and face masks or tutus and pasties. And there's everything in between, like onesies, with bright colors everywhere. Rave bras in full-on decor and muscle tanks land in there somewhere too.
The other thing that's everywhere is this: no judgment. That's it. You ask: What's a rave? We say a judgment-free zone of expression and joy.
So people wear what makes them happy at a rave. And for some, that's a mask.
You know your squad. And if you can't find them, you find the totem. And if they're wearing rave masks, you jump on that and rage with them.
Rave masks and bandanas are part of rave attire. Like at those Frenchie masquerade balls, they're fun to hide behind when you let loose, they're fun to create, and they're fun to wear so you can show off your style and express whatever.
Some Molly lovers wear masks and put Vics VaopRub inside for the high when rolling. The massives (gigantor EDM fests) don't love this, at all. But as for the style and self-expression, we're good to go. And that seems to be where rave masks have found themselves on the rave scene.
One of the popular styles is the beaded raving gas mask. Yes, it looks like a colorful, bright, beaded gas mask. Made originally so you could inhale the vaporub smeared inside, that's playfully symbolic.
The superhero look raves too as does the Luchas Libra wrestler likeness.
We've seen tiger mouths with regular Buddy Holly specs, so more like a mouth mask. And we've seen Day of the Dead skull mouths with polarized chrome-lensed sunglasses. There are also full-on over-the-head masks. One such full-cover mask we've seen is a mask of Rafiki from the Lion King but with his eyes closed as if meditating.
But most rave masks go just to the top of the nose and leave eyes free. These mouth masks can be solid colors or have a pattern. Some look like futuristic space-ship tech while others are elegant and black.
Starting to hear the dubstep beat just reading this? We know. It's enticing. It's understandable. It's time to peruse your scene outfits, rave masks, kandi, and all, and get all plur on us. Do it. Grab your squad and turn up.
And if you need to bump up your look, or bump it down, take a look at our other on fleek rave attire waiting for you. Like, maybe you're feeling quite neon.
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