The Spooky Reason Why We Wear Halloween Costumes

by Chelsey Grasso
halloween, costume
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So you've decided what you're going to be for Halloween, and have come up with the most original costume idea ever. Congrats! But do you even know why exactly it is you're dressing up, or why we wear costumes on Halloween in the first place? Didn't think so. Don't worry, I'll fill you in.

You've probably spent a good amount of time throughout your life thinking about what you want to be for Halloween, and you will probably spend just as much time, if not more, thinking about it in the future (after all, every year there's one less costume you can consider as an option, unless you're being lazy and reusing ideas). So why not spend a little bit of time thinking about why it is you dress up? It seems only logical, right?

Halloween's heritage actually ties back to the Celtics, which means we can now thank the Irish for both St. Patrick's Day and Halloween. It was later taken over by the British (because, the British took over everything in those days), and it wasn't until centuries later that it appeared in America. Take five minutes to learn about the history of Halloween costumes. Some of it may very well surprise you!

The Celtics used to dress up to "blend in" with ghosts.

At the very origins of Halloween's history you'll find the Samhain festival, which marked the end of the Celtic's harvest season and the beginning of their winter. Since the winter represented the "darker half" of year, the start of it (Nov. 1) also became known as the day the dead would come back to haunt the earth. In addition to leaving food and drinks on their doorsteps in hopes of appeasing the haunted spirits, people would also dress up in ghost costumes when leaving their homes in an effort to "blend in" with the dead.

In Medieval Britain, the poor would dress up and perform for money and food.

After Medieval Britain adapted the Samhain festival and turned it into All Saints Day, it became a tradition for young people to dress up and perform at people's doors in exchange for food or money. This was usually done by the poor, and it became known as "guising."

Halloween costumes became "a thing" in America when Irish immigrants revived the traditions.

Irish immigrants brought the traditions of Halloween over to America, so you can thank them for all the fun you now have on Oct. 31. However, it wasn't actually until the 1950s that Halloween became hugely commercialized in America, and turned into a family-friendly holiday for adults and children alike.

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