Halloween is knocking on our doors, and there’s no way you can answer without being dressed up in your favorite costume.
I’m sure you’ve had plenty of time to decide what you’re going to be during this year’s celebration.
Or maybe you’re the type who enjoys reusing previous years costumes. After all, you won’t be able to squeeze anything extra in that wardrobe.
Whatever the case, the dress code for this spooky celebration is mandatory.
But do you know why it’s so? When did we start dressing up in weird garb and, most importantly, why do we do this?
In case you didn’t know by now, we owe this tradition to the Celts. They were ancient European peoples that inhabited the coasts and midlands from Britain to France.
The Celts are mostly renowned for their intrinsic connection with the spirit world, pagan ceremonies, druids, and, of course, Halloween.
Well, it didn’t actually become known as Halloween until the early 1950s when the celebration became widely spread in America.
Now let’s get back to the roots. The Celts actually called this celebration Samhain festival, and the purpose of dressing up was to “blend in” with the spirits.
I can assure you that their costumes would send shivers down your spine. And that’s what they were intended for.
Samhain festival marked the split of seasons, or the transition from the sunny days of summer to the darker days of winter.
The Celts believed that during this division, the veil between the material and spiritual world would thin considerably, allowing spirits to enter this world.
The good spirits of their ancestors and benefactors were invited inside their homes and honored with food and drinks.
And where there were good spirits, there were also evil ones.
The Celts would not want to risk their lives, especially their children’s lives, to some angry and malevolent spirit, so they would dress up in scary costumes to confuse the ghosts.
They would also create creepy turnip or pumpkin carvings to ward off any unwanted spirit interaction.
All in all, the Celts did a really great job at blending in with the spirits. So good that we can assume that all lives were spared by those evil ghosts passing through this material reality.
This pagan celebration became so popular that, during the Middle Ages, Britain integrated it and turned it into All Saints Day, All Hallows’ Day, Hallowmas, or Feast of All Saints.
This celebration commemorated all the saints, known or unknown, who have attained heaven. It’s celebrated on November 1, almost the same day as the pagan Samhain.
This means that both pagans and Christians agree with this date as the year’s division, a time when the doorway between the realms of existence temporarily open.
In Medieval Britain, the All Saints Day tradition made young people wear masks and costumes while performing on people’s doors for money, food and drinks.
Initially this was a poor man’s thing, and was known as “guising,” but it rapidly increased in popularity, and by the time the Irish immigrants settled to America, everyone seemed to enjoy it.
By the early 1950s, the celebration received a huge rebranding and became Halloween.
Now, everyone can trick or treat and have fun, while at the same time maintaining a millennia-old tradition of honoring the dead.
You can rest assured that no evil spirits will trouble you if you pick a costume of their liking.