September 18, 2018

The History of Halloween and Costume Wearing

Halloween celebration which takes place annually on 31st October has become popular all over the world and amongst people of all believes and religions. People wearing costumes and masks usually mark this day and walk around with pumpkin made lanterns. This is a day that you should consider having fun with friends by wearing the unique Halloween costume and light up the party. The costumes are available in different designs to suit your taste. Although the Halloween started from the Celts people who used to live in the now Ireland country, it has become a holiday that is just unstoppable.

Photo not mine
Here is a short history of the Halloween celebration and costume wearing.

The Origin of Halloween
Halloween originated from the Celts who used to hold the Celtic festival of Samhain to celebrate their new year.  This was a day that marked the end of summer and the beginning of the dark and cold winter which was associated with the dead. They believed that once a year, the spirits of the dead would return to the world the living. The Celts also believed that on this day, their priests could be able to get predictions from the spirits of what to expect during the winter season. They used to commemorate the day by gathering together, and they could light up huge sacred bonfires to burn sacrifice for the spirits. They wore costumes which were made of animal heads and skins and they attempted telling each other’s fortunes, performed dances, and shared stories of the dead. After the celebration was over, they used to light the fires they had extinguished in the belief that it could protect them during the winter. They also left treats at the dinner table, doorsteps and along the way for the spirits to appease them. They lit up the roads with candles to help the spirits find their way back to the spiritual world after the visit.

Spread of Halloween
During the 400 years that the Romans ruled the Celtic Lands, The two Roman’s festivals of Feralia and the one of honoring the Roman goddess of and trees referred to as Pomona were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. Also in an attempt to replace the Celtic celebration of the dead, the Catholic Church moved the day of honoring the saints both known and unknown to 1st November which was later moved to 2nd November. This strengthened the Celtics celebrations of the dead even more because both Christianity and the Celtic traditions had slowly blend over time. The Irish immigrants fleeing the Irish Potato Famine also contributed in a great way to the spread of Halloween celebration in America.

Wearing of costumes
Costume wearing and having pumpkin lights are a central sign of Halloween celebration. In the traditions, people wore masks so that the spirits would confuse them as fellow spirits. Some people also started taking advantage of the costumes to steal and do wrong things while wearing them because they could not be identified. Today, Halloween celebrations costumes have been made in different designs, and the idea of celebrating Halloween has changed because it is now related to having fun and not entirely about the spirits and superstitious beliefs.