Why do people wear costumes on Halloween? | E-Neighborhood Advisor
It's almost time for the ghosts, goblins, and a multitude of other uniquely costumed individuals to flow from their homes into schools, businesses, and parties. The smaller ones may be knocking on your door in a few days.
Costume ideas are limited only by the boundaries of the imagination and inspiration can be found everywhere! Yet, why do people dress up for Halloween?
In the first ten years of B.C., October 31st was the last day of the Celtic calendar and the day of their Samhain festival ("summer's end"). That was an annual festival celebrating the end of the harvest season and winter's start on November 1st.
It was also a time to honor the dead. The Celtics believed souls were freed to roam the earth at the end of their calendar year. To protect themselves from spirits with bad intentions, they wore masks and disguises during the Samhain festival. In fact, some believed if they looked dead the spirits would consider them one of the ghostly and leave them alone.
Over time, as Romans took over the lands, the Roman holiday of Feralia - when they remembered and commemorated their dead - melded with the Celtic Samhain festival.
Many customs and traditions of Halloween arrived in North America with immigrants in the 1800s and since then the holiday has evolved to include some new traditions like pumpkin carving.
Today Halloween is more about having some spooky fun than honoring past lives. From young to old, people dress up in whimsical, scary, and iconic costumes and gather with friends to celebrate.