Our witch carnival mask from Cologne is a molded plastic grey-haired hag face, with a blue and red headscarf and elastic band to hold it for wearing.
The Cologne carnival begins on a Thursday six weeks before Easter. It is a time of riotous celebration before the start of Lent. The first day is the Women’s Carnival, and witch masks (although worn throughout the Carnival) are worn on that day in particular. They represent both the benign Wise Woman and the Wicked Witch of German folk tales.
In Germany most homes have a ‘house witch’– a fabric model of a witch to bring them good luck, often with a small coin sewn into the witch’s pocket. Some homes have both a large ‘house witch’ and a small ‘kitchen witch’. Many supermarkets sell them. This one is older and of better quality.
On April 16, 2018, I blogged about a witch mask from nearby Offenburg, Germany. It is different. You can find many styles of witch masks all over Germany, Switzerland and Austria. They are very popular, especially at carnival time.