A Brief History of the Halloween Costume

A black and white image from the beginning of the 20th century shows a girl in rural America, her face lined with an ominous white mask. In another, from 1930, a long slate in a subject is tightly wrapped in what appears to be a white sheet and black tape, while a picture from 1938 shows three people driving to a party in hair-raising skull masks.

Halloween costumes from the first half of the 20th century have been scary. With the pagan and Christian roots of the holiday – as an evening to drive back evil spirits or reconcile with death, respectively – people usually chose extra morbid, critical costumes than the pop culture-inspired ones at present, according to Lesley Bannatyne, a creator has written extensively about Halloween’s historical past.

“Earlier than it advanced into the family-friendly party event we all know it was, October 31 was deeply linked to ghosts and superstitions,” she said in a phone interview. “It was seen as a day” exterior of the ordinary “when you act outside the norms of society.

“Wearing crazy costumes – not horror-inspired as at present, no matter how scary it was – was an important part of it.”

Halloween History

Historical roots

The origin of Halloween costumes could be dated back over 2000 years. Historians take into account the Celtic pagan competition in Samhain, which marked the end of summer and the beginning of the 12 months’ “darker” half of the British Isles, to be the forerunner of the holiday.

Picture taken in 1905 of a person wearing a ghost costume in a rural schoolhouse. Credit points: Historical image archive / Getty Photos

It was believed that the world of the gods, through the competition, was seen by humans, which led to supernatural evil. Some people gave goodies and meals to the gods, while others wore disguises – comparable to animal skins and heads – so that wandering spirits could possibly be mistaken for them for their own sake.

“The villagers hid behind their costumes and usually joked with each other, but blamed the spirits,” Bannatyne said. “Masks and casings came here to be seen as a means of getting away with problems. It continues the whole Halloween trend. ”

Christianity was adopted on October 31 as a holiday in the 12th century, as part of the efforts to reformulate pagan festivals as its personal. Of course, the title “Halloween” comes from “All Hallows Eve”, or the day before All Saints’ Day (November 1). But most of the folkloristic points of Samhain have been included and handed over – costumes included.

In medieval England and Ireland, people would dress in clothes that symbolized the lifeless souls, leave home to deal with collecting sweets or spicy “soul muffins” for them (a Christian tailor often called “souling”). From the end of the 16th century, people began to wear ghostly costumes to personify winter spirits or demons, and would recite verses, songs and people performing in change for meals (an application often called “mumming”).

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