I never really liked Carnival. Living in Gozo, Carnival is a quasi-mandatory holiday to celebrate. You HAVE to go Nadur. Proclaiming your dislike of Carnival sets you out as the Social Pariah. So you give in and you go. First of all parking is a nightmare. Then you get there and you move with the crowd – you don’t walk, you just let yourself go with the flow. You get pushed, poked, and God knows what else. And there’s my favourite part (said with irony..) You always have people come up to you, talking in sign-language and making you stupidly guess who they are – “Do I know you?” – Nod. “Were we at school together?” – Nod. “Are we friends?” – Shaking of Head. You try to leave but they grab your hand to continue the enlightening conversation. This one-sided talk always takes place in Nadur – between a man in drag wearing a Scream mask and a normally-dressed human being. And if you really bother him/her in not guessing their identity, you can very easily get covered in water/powder/animal carcasses. Or have a bunch of Saddam Husseins and Obamas chasing you the whole night.
So I went. I remember going to Nadur twice. On one occasion my friends and I dressed up in boiler-suits and wore plastic masks. What I vividly remember is waking up the day after with itchy skin and spots over my face. I never wore a mask ever again. I went again with A, we met up with some friends for a couple of drinks which proved impossible to get due to the hordes of people there, and driving back home from Nadur, a maniac driver going there nearly killed us and another car driving behind us. So that closed my Carnival-celebrating days. Yes, we went to a one dressing-up party but that was more an excuse to do something different than actually celebrating Carnival.
And now A and myself have actually, purposefully planned a holiday to Gozo for Carnival! We haven’t been on the island during Carnival-time in years, always making it a point to be absent. But this year round we have Cesca. And as much as I dislike it, I have to admit that the dressing up in costumes, playing silly tunes and watching uncoordinated dances is thrilling for children. So yes, I am planning to go out during Carnival with C in tow, and ‘celebrate’ Carnival with her. Knowing C as I now do, I know that the loud music and colourful outfits and floats with definitely grab her attention. She might even join in with the singing…screaming, whatever.
I’m now looking at Carnival costumes for her. The choice is endless of course. You can dress up your child any way you want. Animals, Disney characters, food, inanimate objects, everything. Take a look at this site I found yesterday – the name gives you an idea of what costumes it sells – Ridiculous Baby Costumes.
And the ones that stood out for me?
And my absolute favourite?