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The World Beard and Mustache Championships are a slightly tongue-in-cheek competition held every two years. They award prizes in a number of categories of facial hair. The prizes awarded at the World Beard and Mustache Championships are negligible, but the prestige that goes along with them is as high as it gets within the international beard and mustache world.
The first of the World Beard and Mustache Championships were held in Germany, in 1990. They were hosted by the First Höfener Beard Club, in Höfen/Enz, in Germany, within the Black Forest. Although not as large as modern World Beard and Mustache Championships, they were nonetheless a success, and by the end it was assured that another would follow.
It took five years, until 1995, for a subsequent World Beard and Mustache Championships to take place. This was hosted by the First Höfener Beard Club again, this time in Pforzheim, not far from the spot of the first competitions. Again it was a resounding success, and it was decided that five years was too long to wait for the next.
Two years later the World Beard and Mustache Championships moved out of Germany, and in 1997 was held in Trondheim, in Norway. It was organized by Den Norske Mustaschklubben, the Norwegian Mustache Club. By this point the competition had become much more popular, and it was decided it would be held every two years.
In 1999 the World Beard and Mustache Championships were held in Ystad, in Sweden. They were organized by the Swedish Mustache Club. Two years later the 2001 Championships were again held in Germany, in Schömberg, hosted by the Swabian Beard and Mustache Club. The 2003 Championships were held in Carson City, Nevada, the 2005 Championships in Berlin, Germany, and the 2007 Championships in Brighton, England.
There are a number of categories which are awarded at the World Beard and Mustache Championships. Each is awarded a first prize, a second prize, and a third prize. Each category is a specific style in one of three main groupings: mustaches, partial beards, and full beards. The styles range from a national style, like English, to styles based on specific people, like the Dali mustache, named after Salvador Dali’s iconic style. There are also freestyle categories in which all sorts, including avant-garde mustaches and beards, are allowed.
The categories are: English Mustache, Natural Mustache, Dali Mustache, Imperial Mustache, Hungarian Mustache, Freestyle Mustache; Natural Goatee, Chinese Partial Beard, Musketeer Partial Beard, Imperial Partial Beard, Sideburns Freestyle, Partial Beard Freestyle; Verdi Full Beard, Garibaldi Full Beard, Natural Full Beard, Natural Full Beard with Styled Mustache, and Full Beard Freestyle.