Cosplay is the short Term for Costume Play
Derived from the word costume play, cosplay is a form of drama, which is quite popular in Japan and East Asia. Since the art form originated in Japan and they are known to use the beginnings of words to coin Japanese words, Costume was abbreviated to become 'Cos' and play was taken as it is to coin the word 'Cosplay'. The two main categories of cosplay are, basic cosplay, which involves just looking like a particular character, and masquerade, which also involves acting as a particular character, apart from dressing up as them.
In Japan cosplay can be seen almost anywhere at public events however, there are special parks and clubs designed to air such dramas. In Japan there are many cafees where the waitresses are dressed as specific characters and enact them. Another very famous biannual event held in Japan is Comiket. The event is held in summers and winters. Although this form of drama may have originated in Japan, the art form cannot be considered completely Japanese in character. It has spread to other parts of the world such as Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and the United States and has now taken up a multicultural form.
Anime/Manga cosplay is the most famous, especially in Japan and North America, and many enthusiasts invest a great amount of time and effort into choosing the costumes. To become a successful cosplayer, your costume plays an important role. You can either buy it from a store, or even make it at home, but investing time either way is important. Look out for cosplay invitations at nightclubs, amusement park, and even special conventions, and before you venture out as your character, a bit of research into the way he/she acts and behaves will surely help. Truly successful cosplayers do not just look very convincing as their characters, but can also act and behave like they do.
Female actors may also choose to enact male characters, and this is called cross play and wearing clothes of the opposite sex is also called cross dressing. In Indonesia, the actors participating in cosplay are called Cabaret and unlike Japan the cosplay event here is held annually. In North America the same event is called Masquerade. This play form has spread to France and Canada as well.