Carnival vs. Saint Valentine’s Day

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February is a month of activity, especially in the second half. Between Valentine’s Day and carnival, opportunities to celebrate multiply.

If you had to choose, which would you prefer? A colorful carnival party or a romantic, sweet-filled getaway? Here are some tips for both options. Get ready for a February that would suit everyone’s tastes:

 

CARNIVAL

The origin of carnival

Have you ever wondered why Carnival dates vary from year to year? Although it’s always celebrated between February and March, this festival is subject to another holiday: Easter Sunday. Once this date has been set, one counts back forty days, which corresponds to the season of Lent, and the week before the first of these forty days is considered to be carnival week. Although it might seem like a convoluted mathematical exercise, everything has a reason. And as often happens in our Western culture, this reason is religious in nature.

Although the origin of Carnival dates back to classical antiquity, and they can be identified with the consecrated celebrations to the god Bacchus (god of wine), it was with the spread of Christianity that it became popular and took its present name, which is derived from the vulgar Latin carne levare, which means “leave the flesh.” And it makes sense, since during this week Christians took advantage of most primal instincts to release their passions in the most wild and uncontrolled manner before beginning a period of complete withdrawal and abstinence. And it’s also not surprising that people should choose to protect their identities with costumes and masks during this explosion of sinful impulses.

 

Carnival costumes

It is true that you don’t have to dress up for carnival and this will vary from person to person, depending on whether one is more extroverted or introverted, but one cannot deny that both the practice and the thought that goes into this type of disguise awakens our creativity and sometimes even our childishness.

While in Venice the most typical costumes tend to give off a historic and noble air, in places like Rio de Janeiro or Cadiz, it’s more about colors or imitating famous people. In both cases, the possibilities are endless. Here’s a selection of original costumes:

Movies can also be a good source of inspiration for thinking up a great carnival costume. In this case, we suspect that the film UP could be the source of inspiration for this gem:

hairdo-w-balloons-myeongbeom-kim

photo: http://www.myeongbeomkim.com/

 

Couple costumes have always been a safe bet. Especially when the fear of embarrassment is not an option:

disfraces-originales-barbie-y-ken-rsm

photo: http://www.risasinmas.com/disfraces-originales-barbie-y-ken/

 

Of course, children are the stars of carnival, and designing their homemade costumes can be a fun adventure. On this website several original ideas are collected to disguise the smallest among us. Check out the little bag of popcorn and the bowl of spaghetti!

pop cornspaguetti

 

But even if you’re not really into costumes, you could surprise everyone with a spectacular makeup job. Check out these tips for decorating your eyes:

InspiracionAnimalMakeupBlog-2InspiracionAnimalMakeupBlog

Photos: http://colombe.com.mx/2013/09/makeup-con-inspiracion-animal/

 

And if you fancy doing something more elaborate than just the eyes, here’s a simple yet elegant design:

makeup

Photo: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/532198880940473926/

 

Without a doubt, our favorite is the pop art makeup, but it’s likely only suitable for truly imaginative makeup professionals:

pop art

Photo: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/433893745324972949/

 

 

Carnival Parties

Carnival is the mother of all festivals. People the world over use this as an excuse to organize parades and celebrations in style. It is one of the best times to visit cities like Venice, Cádiz, Rio de Janeiro or Sitges (Barcelona). But it’s also a great opportunity to organize house parties. We have selected some ideas to help with the decoration:

a-Carnival-party

Photo: http://blog.homes.com/2013/08/summer-birthday-party-themes/

 

 VALENTINE’S DAY

 The Origin of Saint Valentine

Some think that Valentine is an invention of the major brands to boost sales during these days. But with just a little research we discovered that Valentine was a priest who dared to disobey the orders given by Emperor Claudius II prohibiting soldiers from marrying because marriage was considered a distraction from military duties. St. Valentine secretly married tens of loving couples in ancient Rome. The courageous priest was put to death as punishment.

Ideas for St. Valentine’s Day gifts

Most romantic are eager to receive something special on February 14. Perhaps the most difficult task is what you yourself will give. And although flowers and chocolates are always a safe bet, today you can also find truly surprising gifts like these:

Portable speakers shaped like animals:

idea-portable-animal-speakers_05

 You’ll find them here.

 

Packaging Tape to pack with love:

packed with love

You can find it here.

 

A bracelet with your original phrase:

brazalete grabado

You will find them here.

 

An original and convenient sushi -shaped USB stick:

usb_sushi_01

They come in different models, you can see them here.

 

Valentine’s Day crafts

If you’ve decided on the romantic option, you better go with everything. There are countless ways to shape your love. From heart-shaped surprise boxes to calendars that remind us every day how much we love that person. Here you will find a good selection:

love calendarsugar_hearts_

Valentine’s Recipes:

Of course, Valentine’s Day is the day for lovers, but also chocolate! Chocolates are a traditional gift, but don’t be afraid to unleash your imagination to create innovative recipes using heart shapes, like these:

galletas mermelada

Photo and recipe: http://kanelaylimon.blogspot.com.es/2013/01/galletas-rellenas-de-mermelada-san.html

M

Photo and recipe: http://coolcreativity.com/food/diy-puff-pastry-and-sausage-roses/

 

Love quotes

But neither the best cake or nor the most elaborate craft will work if it’s not accompanied by the right message. Everyone has their own way of declaring his or her love, but sometimes one can draw on some Valentine’s Day phrases. Some are super sweet but others have a more moderate sugar load:

love quote1

photo: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/561824122239514336/

love quote2

photo: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/251920172880373955/

love quote3

photo: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/520025088197402358/

 

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