As Oct. 31 creeps forward, so does the anticipation of one of the year’s most festive celebrations, Halloween.
It’s a ghoulish day for sure, one that not only the kids look forward to but a lot of us adults as well.
There’s pumpkin carving, house decorating, and preparing your treat bags for the little goblins who will be ringing your doorbell on that day. But centre stage goes to the Halloween costume.
There are many references to the history of when wearing a costume to commemorate this day began, including the theory that it appeared during the 18th and 19th centuries in the Celtic countries of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, and were usually based on frightening supernatural or folkloric beings. Apparently, the Celts believed that the spirits of the dead could cross into the living realm around the time of the Celtic festival of Samhain. Some dead ancestors may have been welcomed back, but costumes were worn to confuse the evil and less desirable spirits. This certainly explains why many of the first costumes were on the spooky side!
But by the 1930’s, the media, through film and literature, began to influence ideas for costumes that weren’t necessarily scary, including popular of fictional characters of the time.
Paired with the tradition of going door to door for trick or treating while wearing a guise that allows you to pretend to be anything but yourself for the night, and you’ve got yourself the making of something very special. Somehow wearing a costume can bring out the kid and fun in all of us, and it seems like Halloween affords us all the opportunity and permission to do just that.
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