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The History of the Halloween Costume

Sierra Lewis, Cactus Writer

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“What am I going to be this year? Should I even dress up? Let’s just go shopping anyways maybe I’ll find something.” The thoughts that race through one’s mind during Halloween. You have probably been dressing up since your mom could fit you in some type of pumpkin costume, I know the highlight of my October as a little kid was always going through the magazines with costumes in them, and making the decision of what I would be that year. But have you ever questioned why we dress up? Who made the decision we would dress up for Halloween? Here’s a little history lesson on “The Halloween Costume.”

The earliest Halloween Costumes can be traced back to Scotland, Ireland, Mann, and Wales around fifteen-fifty-eight. It is thought to have origins from early Celtic festivals. It also has origins from the practice called “souling” during the old observance of Allhallowtide, a Christian holiday known today as All Saints Day, or in the Mexican culture, Day Of The Dead.

Dressing as something scary is such an iconic Halloween costume because dressing up for Halloween does stem back to the dead roaming the earth on All Hallows Eve, which became what you know today as Halloween. Jump to the 16th Century and trick or treating comes into play. Popular costumes in the early days would most likely have been Saints and Biblical figures. Now jump all the way to America in the 19th Century and it is very much a children’s holiday popular costumes including Gothic and Victorian eras. All costumes were also made at home. The nineteen-thirties brought the mass-produced Halloween costumes, the traditional vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghosts, skeletons, witches, goblins, and trolls were the first very popular store bought costumes.

Now welcome to two-thousand and sixteen, the Halloween costume choices are endless, from traditional, to pop culture. Also, today we spend a lot more money on our costumes than they did way back when. In two-thousand and thirteen Americans spent an estimated $6.9 billion, with more spent in the adult costume category than the kids. So now………. what will you be this year?}

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The History of the Halloween Costume