- Holidays and Celebrations
Great Holloween Costumes of The Past and Present
Since ancient times people have donned costumes on the day we call Halloween to celebrate the passing of summer into winter. Here I will talk about some of the traditions associated with the holiday and show some of the great Halloween costumes past and present that have adorned many fanciful trick or treaters!
Fire And Steel Festival
Some History Of Halloween: Samhain
Ancient Origins of Halloween
The holiday we celebrate known as Halloween evolved from “All Hallows Eve” a designation that described the day when the souls of the departed or “Hallowed Ones” walked the earth. The veil between the worlds (Shield of Skathach) was thin, allowing spirits to cross over and pass on. This can be traced to the ancient Celtic peoples who celebrated Samhain pronounced (sow-een or sow’-inn). The traditional date was celebrated midway between the Equinox and Winter Solstice and was the Celtic New Years Eve. Celtic peoples observed the year as a “light” half and “dark” half with the dark part of the year beginning at the Gaelic “samhraidhreadh” meaning “summer’s end”. The day marked the third and final harvest of crops grown in preparation for surviving the winter and symbolized the cycle of life. Celts believed that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Celtic priests known as Druids to make predictions about the future which provided a source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter
Celtic Day of the Dead
Celtic Day Of The Dead
The ceremonies of the ancients were most often fire festivals and to celebrate Samhain, Druids built huge sacred bonfires while the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic gods. The tradition included wearing costumes of animal skins and heads as protection from the spirits and the fires were used to rebuild hearth fires extinguished in anticipation of the “Dark” aspect of the year.
Most of the present Halloween traditions have evolved from this Celtic day of the dead. The wearing of costumes, and roaming from door to door demanding treats can be traced to the Celtic period and the first few centuries of the Christian era. By then the idea of Witches and Demons roaming the countryside on All Hallows Eve marked the psyche of the rural landscape and thus began the practice of offerings of food and drink to placate them. In time people began dressing like the very creatures they were afraid of and were performing antics in exchange for food and drink. This idea of trick-or-treating evolved from the roaming visitors and was called mumming. Halloween also has some of the original customs of the harvest holiday of Samhain, like carving pumpkins, bobbing for apples and drinking spiced cider. The pumpkin is actually indigenous to the western hemisphere and was carried back to Europe by returning settlers. The Celtic practice of carving vegetables was used on gourdes and other melons.
As Summer fades the darkness comes
I go now forth no fear, nor fright
Among the veil between the worlds
As Daylight changes into night
A glow of candles I stop and stare
They are but souls of those gone past
Spirits glide with cautious glare
And move through realms of different light
All hollows eve begins the time
When loved ones gone
Can yet come near
They walk through mists
Of space and time
And bring us to another year
Great Unusual Costumes
Great Exotic Costumes
The idea of donning a costume has come a long way since the days when we wore animal skins. People are seen wearing things as a costume that defy imagination. Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes just odd but it’s always a great adventure to go to a costume party and see what people have dreamed up as a costume. This year stretch your mind and get a great costume. Even if you only wear one to the store, it’s a great way to express the other you!