The Inspiration Behind Halloween Costumes and the Holiday

Halloween is also referred to as; Hallowe’en, A jack-o’-lantern, All Hallows Eve and All Saints’ Eve or Samhain.

The holiday is celebrated in several countries most commonly in; Ireland where it originated, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and in some parts of Australia. Many Latin American countries also celebrate this holiday where it is known as Noche de las Brujas (Night of the Witches). It should be noted that the holiday is celebrated mostly irrespective of religion and is mostly of a cultural nature. Irish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century

Halloween is always on the 31st of October each year and is celebrated with some of the following activities; ghost tours, trick-or-treating, visiting “haunted houses” and fireworks (in Ireland), costume parties, bobbing for apples, carving jack-o’-lanterns, bonfires, reading scary stories and watching horror movies.

The basis of this holiday was derived from the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. This festival was the basis for the modern holiday we know as Halloween and is based on the Old Irish samain. The Gaelic culture began the celebration of Halloween to mark the end of the harvest season known as the festival of Samhain which is regarded as the “Celtic New Year”. The ancient pagans used this festival to take stock of supplies and to slaughter livestock for the winter stores. Many Ancient Gaels believed that on Halloween, then referred to only as October 31st, that the boundary between those alive and the deceased dissolved, and the dead became dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. The festivals, in order to prevent these problems, would frequently include bonfires, where the bones of slaughtered livestock would be thrown. At the festivals costumes and masks were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them.

Some Symbols of his holiday:

The most prominent symbol in America for this holiday is the called a jack-o’-lantern, a carved pumpkins lit by a candle inside. These lanterns, originating in Europe, were first carved from a rutabaga or turnip. The Celts, believing that the head was the most powerful part of the body containing the spirit and the knowledge, used the “head” of the vegetable to frighten off any superstitions. The name jack-o’-lantern can be traced back to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, a greedy, gambling, hard-drinking old farmer who tricked the devil by carving a cross into the tree trunk which caused the devil to go to the tree and this later trapped him. In revenge for being trapped, the devil placed a curse on Jack, condemning him to forever wander the earth at night with the only light he had: a candle inside of a hollowed turnip. In North America the carving of pumpkins is associated with Halloween, where pumpkins were and still are readily available and much larger, making them easier to carve than turnips. Many American families that celebrate Halloween carve a pumpkin into a frightening or comical face and place it on their home’s doorstep after dark

Particularly in America, symbolism is inspired by classic horror films, which contain fictional figures like Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, and The Mummy. Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween.

In summation, Halloween costumes are inspired by the origin and history of Halloween itself and are traditionally those of monsters such as vampires, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. costumes are also based on themes other than traditional horror, such as those of characters from television shows like Hannah Montana, movies and other pop culture icons. Some of the most popular costumes in recent years have been the; Hannah Montana Halloween costume, Batman Halloween costume, Indiana Jones Halloween costume, Disney Halloween costumes, Queen of hearts Halloween costume, Halloween princess costumes, sailor Halloween costume, Star Wars Halloween costumes, Snow White Halloween costume, Sponge Bob Halloween costume, Zelda Halloween costume and Miami Ink tattoo costume.


Dominic Sentinelli

Source by Dominic Sentinelli

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