Evolving from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, modern Halloween has become less about literal ghosts and ghouls and more about costumes and sweet treats.
The Ancient Celts used the day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, and also believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the other world or Summerlands (Celtic Heaven). Over the millennia the holiday transitioned from a somber pagan ritual of remembering those that have gone before us to a day of merriment, costumes, parades and sweet treats for children and adults.
Halloween today is the season for little (and big) ghosts and goblins to take to the streets, asking for sweet treats and scaring one another silly. Spooky stories are told around fires, scary movies appear in movie theatres and pumpkins are expertly (and not-so-expertly) carved into jack-o’-lanterns.
Amid all the commercialism, haunted houses and bogus warnings about razors in apples, the origins of Halloween are often overlooked. Yet Halloween is much more than just costumes and candy; in fact, the holiday has a rich and interesting history in Celtic traditional culture.
The tradition of dressing in costumes and trick-or-treating may go back to the practice of “mumming” and “guising,” in which people would disguise themselves and go door-to-door, asking for food, Santino said. Early costumes were usually disguises, often woven out of straw, he said, and sometimes people wore costumes to perform in plays or skits.
The practice may also be related to the medieval custom of “souling” in Britain and Ireland, when poor people would knock on doors on Hallowmas (Nov. 1), asking for food in exchange for prayers for the dead.
These days, the “trick” part of the phrase “trick or treat” is mostly an empty threat, but pranks have long been a part of the holiday.
By the late 1800s, the tradition of playing tricks on Halloween was well established. In the United States and Canada, the pranks included tipping over outhouses, opening farmers’ gates and egging houses. But by the 1920s and ’30s, the celebrations more closely resembled an unruly block party, and the acts of vandalism got more serious.
Some people believe that because pranking was starting to get dangerous and out of hand, parents and town leaders began to encourage dressing up and trick-or-treating as a safe alternative to doing pranks.
Above is a few sexy costume ideas from the world wide web for your special Halloween party this year. May the living dead come a-visiting with lots of sweet gifts and NOT prank you too much. 🙂