Posted by Claudia Moser on 1:44 PM in , ,
Darlene has challenged us to write about

which made me think where does this fascination for costumes come from?

A bit of background from here

Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)".The name of the festival historically kept by the Gaels and celts in the British Isles which is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end".

The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows Day.Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556.

Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time. For instance, the carving of jack-o'-lanterns springs from the souling custom of carving turnips into lanterns as a way of remembering the souls held in purgatory. The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween, but immigrants to North America used the native pumpkin, which are both readily available and much larger – making them easier to carve than turnips. The American tradition of carving pumpkins is recorded in 1837 and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century.

The imagery of Halloween is derived from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature (such as the novels Frankenstein and Dracula), and classic horror films (such as Frankenstein and The Mummy).Among the earliest works on the subject of Halloween is from Scottish poet John Mayne in 1780, who made note of pranks at Halloween; "What fearfu' pranks ensue!", as well as the supernatural associated with the night, "Bogies" (ghosts), influencing Robert Burns' Halloween 1785. Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks, and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween.

Now I wonder what does people motivate to buy clothes like this?

Or choose ideas like this:

Does this have anything to do with Halloween?

What would you choose as a Halloween costume? I'd rather celebrate it with some nice autumn decorations in the house, with lots of candles, a nice pumpkin soup and a nice carrot cake, but maybe that is me!



We had a Halloween party here a couple of years ago, because the grandchildren loved it. Little Eli was dressed as Dracula, and looked so sweet!! I agree with you though, nice decorations, candles burning and a slice of carrot cake. Sounds good to me!! I'm glad that we live out of the village, because we never get bothered by trick and treaters!!

@Diane - I do agree with you that for children it is fun, it may be a giggling event :) but somehow my personal feeling is that the event has lost its magic. But again maybe it's only me!

Very informative post on Halloween. I also like your idea of celebrating with candles and carrot cake! I've had my fill of gorey and distasteful movies/costumes. We live down a long lane, so we don't get any trick or treaters, but I do enjoy seeing the little kiddies all dressed up.

@Darlene - yes, the children get all the fun :)

Halloween was next to Xmas as favorite of mine as a kid. I loved watching my kids and grandkids dress up. Yep, it's been a lot of fun over the years. I don't go to Halloween parties, but if I did I would dress up like Princess Leia from Star Wars.

@Belle - that is a great choice, I am sure it will fit :=)

Trick or treating has pretty much fell by the wayside in the past several years. I can't remember the last time I had a little goblin come to my door. I live in a large city. It's just not safe for children any more.

Interesting info here, Claudia. Thank you.

Some interesting stuff there Claudia, I love learning new things :-)

Man, way to make us all look lazy! he he he So much research here, I'm exhausted for you. I did, however, enjoy reading all that NEW to me info.
I am not a big fan of Halloween, but have always made it fun if I had to be involved for one reason or another.

Now, I just go to Tennessee to see the grand daughters who live there and watch their house or take them out around their neighborhood.

Really good job here!

i love halloween!

xoxo from rome

I love Halloween!

@Darlene - true, the trick or treat tradition fades away with big cities!
@Sarah - me too :-)
@Jo - not at all my dear, I just like to read! With grandchildren I am sure it is fun!
@Karolina & Liana - good for you :)

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