Know who I am, face mask?

 The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival is back, in a framework in which safety measures are the priority

 Attending the events is subject to ticket reservation, free or priced, and to the use of ffp2 face masks


Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 8 March 2022. In the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival there has been a popular catchphrase since the festivities were officially recovered in 1976, after the Franco dictatorship. Members of the public in costume would greet those who were not dressed up with a classic "Know who I am, mascarita?", challenging them that way to identify them behind a mask. "Mascaritas" (Masked revellers) was the term that came to be used to refer to people joining in on the festivities dressed up in costume. The heart and soul of the celebration.

This particularly notable edition of Carnival is marked by the safety measures reflecting the evolution of the public health situation: only galas and contests have been scheduled (although that's no small matter, since they occupy over three weeks of the calendar). But life cannot go on without humour. People have remodelled the catchphrase. So now, at a contest where protection again infection is compulsory, the catchphrase "know who I am, face mask?" is to be heard.

The fact is that the general public has comfortably taken on board the obligation to wear a face mask inside the enclosure of Santa Catalina Park, where the festivities' major activities take place. It's an unusual sight: an audience, in many cases in costume, wearing face masks. And it is also proof of the resilience of a celebration that always survives, despite the obstacles it has come up against along the path of its history.

It is the sign of a safe Carnival, where the organisers have taken the greatest of care to guarantee the proper environment for the galas and contests. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, a city which in general has been keen to meet the measures imposed by the pandemic, has taken it on board without any fuss. Even before the festivities, and without it being compulsory, many citizens had maintained the face mask wearing habit outside. Today the face mask is also the password for a very special Carnival.