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Stunning images of pagan costumes worn at winter celebrations around the world
12.05.2016
10:18 am
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‘Lucifer and little devils,’ Tauplitz, Austria. Photograph by Charles Fréger.
 
In a recent interview, French photographer Charles Fréger revealed that he has always been fascinated by European tribal traditions. This fascination inspired the well-known artist to travel all around Europe to capture images of people dressed in ritualistic costumes honoring the arrival of winter another other seasonal celebrations.

Fréger began his journey in Austria and to date has photographed stunning costumes and rituals from 21 countries around the world. According to Fréger there are many celebrations that mark the arrival of winter that take place in the Czech Republic and, say, Italy that are quite similar when it comes to the materials that are used to create the costumes. Such as the incorporation of animal pelts, branches from trees, horns and bells into the costumes. Though they may share similar appearances, the story behind each living piece of folklore varies from country and location. Here’s more from Fréger about why so many of these celebrations often involve a human masquerading as an animal:

It is not about being possessed by a spirit but it is about jumping voluntarily in the skin of an animal. You decide to become something else. You chose to become an animal, which is more exciting than being possessed by a demon.

Following his exhaustive tours of Europe, Fréger headed to Japan to photograph both winter and spring celebrations in Japan which showcase the country’s “theatrical” take on their celebratory costumes that have remained intact over the course of many centuries. The images from his travels to Japan reveal mythological “monsters” such as ogres and demons menacingly blending into landscapes, fields and the water or wielding machetes . Fréger’s exploits with international folkloric entities are the subject of two gorgeous books, Wilder Mann: The Image of the Savage, and Yokainoshima: Island of Monsters. I’ve included many images of Fréger’s scary monsters and mythical entities taken in Italy, Czechoslovakia, Finland and Japan as well as other destinations that celebrate the coming of winter and other seasonal changes with characters way more interesting than Santa. Enjoy!
 

Slovenia.
 

Portugal.
 

Switzerland.
 

Croatia.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.05.2016
10:18 am
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Astonishing pictures of 21st century pagan ritual garb from all over Europe
01.19.2016
03:25 pm
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Germany
 
You might not know it, but we’re in the middle of pagan ritual season! Every year from December until Easter, people from every country in Europe partake in pagan rituals in order to honor the planet’s annual cycle of death and rebirth.

Several years ago Charles Fréger set out to document the many costumes used all over Europe for pagan rituals, visiting 18 countries on his journey to pin down the archetype of the “Wild Man” that transcends any one culture. The pictures were then collected in a marvelous book called Wilder Mann. The costumes he found resemble something out of commedia dell’arte or Día de los Muertos, only far deeper and far stranger. They clearly represent the devil, billy goats, wild boars, and bizarre conflagrations thereof, using all manner of masks, straw, horns, pine twigs, antlers, bells, fur, and bones.

As it happens, I’ve attended pagan rituals myself, in rural Austria, and I’ve met men who work on their intricate, large, wooden Krampus masks all year long in preparation for the fantastical Krampus “performance” in early December. I mention this as a prelude to explaining that (in my opinion) telling the difference between some authentic pagan belief and just people partaking in a fun pastime isn’t a straightforward proposition. It isn’t that such people are necessarily undertaking such rituals in order appease the earth goddess Erda and improve next year’s crop yield or anything like that, but at the same time I think that participants and spectators alike would agree that everyone is getting something necessary out of it, something communal, something emotional.

Of the project, Fréger says, “‘It is not about been possessed by a spirit but it is about jumping voluntarily in the skin of an animal. You decide to become something else. You chose to become an animal, which is more exciting than being possessed by a demon.”

Enjoy these remarkable pictures.
 

Finland
 

Basque Country
 

Portugal
 

Macedonia
 
More pagan ritual garb after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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01.19.2016
03:25 pm
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The Face of God? New NASA video reveals the (psychedelic) surface of the Sun
05.24.2012
10:46 pm
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image
 
If you missed the recent annular solar eclipse, fret not as an amazing new video has just been released by NASA which reveals the Sun’s surface in a way never before seen.

This video takes SDO images and applies additional processing to enhance the structures visible. While there is no scientific value to this processing, it does result in a beautiful, new way of looking at the sun.

The original frames are in the 171 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet. This wavelength shows plasma in the solar atmosphere, called the corona, that is around 600,000 Kelvin.

The loops represent plasma held in place by magnetic fields. They are concentrated in “active regions” where the magnetic fields are the strongest. These active regions usually appear in visible light as sunspots. The events in this video represent 24 hours of activity on September 25, 2011.

I could stare at this for hours and not get bored.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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05.24.2012
10:46 pm
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