It is a tradition that most of us take for granted. At the end of each October, millions of people dress up for Halloween, heading out to parties, or just to trick-or-treat around the neighborhood. But where did this tradition come from? How did it become so commonly accepted to dress up in costumes each Halloween? The history of this tradition may not date back quite as far as you’d expect.
As is the case with many of the holidays celebrated in the United States, the story of Halloween really comes down to marketing. Before modern marketing took hold, however, there was an old Celtic holiday known as Samhain. It was during this time of year that the veil between the spirit world and the real, physical world was considered to be at its thinnest. Halloween became associated with things like ghosts and witches in large part due to this association with the spirit realm.
Somewhere along the way, more and more people decided to dress up in celebration of Halloween. It was a fun way to have a party, and it allowed those who dressed up to play a character outside of their usual self. Of course, it was around this time that many business owners and entrepreneurs decided that there was money to be made on this developing holiday. It was around the start of the 20th century that this holiday gained traction in America, and it has only grown since that time.
Some of the most popular Halloween costumes throughout the history of this informal holiday have included vampires, skeletons, devils, and more. Pretty much anything that is connected to the supernatural or the spirit world is fair game as far as dressing up for Halloween is concerned. Also, it has become common for people to dress up in ways that reference current events. Not only do children get dressed up before they go out trick-or-treating, but adults frequently purchase costumes to dress up for parties in public or private locations.
While marketing has been largely responsible for the growth of Halloween, it is not necessary to purchase a costume in order to enjoy this holiday with others. Many people choose to make their own costumes, either fashioning unique outfits or just wearing unusual clothes. In fact, some Halloween parties are formed around specific themes, with the guests encouraged to create their own costumes based around the theme. Without any specific religious significance or tradition to stick with, those who celebrate Halloween by dressing up are free to use their creativity in order to develop a unique costume each year.
It is safe to say that Halloween, and the tradition of dressing up, is here to stay. People of all ages look forward to Halloween for the fun that it can provide, and it is common for some people to start planning their costume well in advance. It doesn’t really matter which costume you decide to go with for the occasion, as long as you are having fun and making memories with friends and family.