The word itself, "Halloween," actually has its origins in the Catholic Church. It comes from a contracted corruption of All Hallows Eve. November 1, "All Hollows Day" (or "All Saints Day"), is a Catholic day of observance in honor of saints. But, in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The holiday was called Samhain (sow-en), the Celtic New year.
One story says that, on that day, the disembodied spirits of all those who had died throughout the preceding year would come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. It was believed to be their only hope for the afterlife. The Celts believed all laws of space and time were suspended during this time, allowing the spirit world to intermingle with the living.
Naturally, the still-living did not want to be possessed. So on the night of October 31, villagers would extinguish the fires in their homes, to make them cold and undesirable. They would then dress up in all manner of ghoulish costumes and noisily paraded around the neighborhood, being as destructive as possible in order to frighten away spirits looking for bodies to possess.
The Romans adopted the Celtic practices as their own. But in the first century AD, Samhain was assimilated into celebrations of some of the other Roman traditions that took place in October, such as their day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple, which might explain the origin of our modern tradition of bobbing for apples on Halloween.
The thrust of the practices also changed over time to become more ritualized. As belief in spirit possession waned, the practice of dressing up in Halloween Costumes like hobgoblins, ghosts, and witches took on a more ceremonial role.
The custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840's by Irish immigrants fleeing their country's potato famine. At that time, the favorite pranks in New England included tipping over outhouses and unhinging fence gates.
The custom of trick-or-treating is thought to have originated not with the Irish Celts, but with a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village dressed up in Halloween type costumes begging for "soul cakes," made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could expedite a soul's passage to heaven.
So, although some cults may have adopted Halloween as their favorite "holiday," the day itself did not grow out of evil practices. It grew out of the rituals of Celts celebrating a new year, and out of Medieval prayer rituals of Europeans. And today, even many churches have Halloween parties with many of their members dressing up in Halloween costumes or pumpkin carving events for the kids. After all, the day itself is only as evil as one cares to make it.
What is Halloween and why do people dress up in Halloween costumes?
The word "Halloween" is derived from a few things; All Saints Day (1st November), Eve of All Hallows (All Hallows Eve) or Hallow Even.
The celebration of Halloween was originally the New Years Eve of the Celts, the eve of Samhain or "Winter's Eve." It was generally believed that the dead or disembodied spirits of all those who had died throughout the preceding year would come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. It was believed to be their only hope for the afterlife. All who were alive of course didn't want to be possessed by these lost souls so on the night of October 31st, villagers would extinguish the fires in their homes to make them cold and inhospitable then dress up in ghoulish costumes and parade around the neighborhood making as much noise as possible to frighten away the spirits looking for a live body to possess. Food and drink would be left out for these villages who dressed up in Halloween costumes.
The whole custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840's by the Irish immigrants who were fleeing the country's potato famine. The evil side of Halloween was pushed forward mainly by the church. The church maintained that the gods and goddesses and other spiritual beings of traditional religions were diabolical deceptions and manifestations of the devil. Therefore the customs associated with Halloween such as dressing up in Halloween costumes were always represented by the church as being evil - ghosts, human skeletons, symbols of the dead, Satan and other creatures such as witches.
Adult Halloween Costumes: In the past Halloween was just a night for the little ones, but now it has become just as much fun for the adults too. Halloween Costume theme parties are a great opportunity for adults to dress up like kids and with plenty of classic adult costumes and dresses to choose from...More
Fairy Angel Wings Costume: If you want to dress up like a fairy, our cute collection of fairy costumes along with the fairy wings will give you real angel look. We offer you various types of angel costumes such as angel of death teens, gothic fairy, graveyard fairy, naughty angel, vamp fairy etc...More
Infant Toddler Costume and Baby Costumes: When Halloween comes around, parents get excited about dressing up infants and toddlers in great costumes for the photo op. Snaps of infants in baby costumes are great for slipping into Christmas cards you’re sending to family members...More
Cheap Costumes: At Halloween Costume Sale, we aim to make your Halloween celebrations more affordable with our reasonable costume rates. We offer a variety of heavily discounted cheap costumes for adults, women, children, plus sizes and even for your pets... More
Child Costume and Kids Costumes: There may be nothing cuter than seeing your little one all dressed up for Halloween and with so many costume options to choose from, it’s only a matter of time before your camera is full to brimming with cute kid snapshots...More
Costume Accessories: We feature costume accessories like Masks, Hats & Headpieces, Crowns, Tiaras, Wigs, Beards & Mustaches, Jewelry, Eyewear & Glasses, Boas, Shoes & Boots, Handbags, Gloves, Wings, Capes & Cloaks, Facial Prosthetics, and much...More
Dance Costume: Come Halloween and you can dress up as anyone. The costumes range from being scary to funny ones. For an upbeat and fun costume, you can dress up in a dance costume this Halloween or for any costume party. You simply have to select the type of dancer you want to be...More
Disney Costume: Walt Disney created some of the most endearing movie characters to ever hit the silver screen. It’s no surprise then that Disney costumes have and always will be, a staple come Halloween night. There are classic Disney costumes available for adults and kids of all ages; girls will clamor for a princess costume..More
Funny Humorous Costumes: Every body loves to host or go to parties to celebrate Halloween nights. There are many exciting and interesting funny costumes available for people of every age group for both men and women. Dress up like a mad doctor, nurse or a playboy bunny, the possibilities are endless with these costumes...More
Girl Costumes: The Disney Princesses are the most popular out of the girl costumes. With gorgeous dresses that go with Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White and Jasmine, you will surely find one that fits your little girl and that she will enjoy. Most toy stores carry these costumes year round...More
Halloween Masks: Deciding what costume you are going to wear on Halloween night may just be the start of your dress-up plans. Adding a mask, wig, or other accessories can take the ordinary costume to creepy new levels...More
Native American Indian Costume: Indian costumes are a great fun and popular at the same time. In this way you can even pay tribute to the native residents of North America. Their dressing which is far from the modern way of dressing consist of hunting knives, bow and arrow sets, necklaces, spears, boots...More
Party Costumes: Halloween parties are becoming increasingly popular and lately people go there wearing weird looking and scary party costumes. If you happen to a Halloween party wearing a scary outfit then you are sure to draw a lot of attention in the party...More
Pirate Costume: After the popularity of the Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean films, games, series, novel and theme park, almost anyone has dreamed of becoming a pirate at least once a life. Whether you are an enthusiastic pirate fan or your children like to play this role, a pirate costume...More
Plus Size Costume: Halloween is the event which requires you to wear a costume especially made according to the day. These Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as monsters, ghosts or any popular characters from movies, stories or mythological books...More
Poodle Skirt: A poodle skirt is one of the most memorable symbols of the 50s. Postwar American women sought fashions that were feminine and unique. The wide swing felt skirt of a solid bold color displayed a design appliquéd or transferred to the fabric...More
Princess Costume: Ask any little girl what she wants to be when she grows up and the answer will most likely be princess or ballerina. That’s probably why the princess costume has continued to be one of the most popular girl’s costumes since kids started trick or treating...More
Santa Costume: Dressing up doesn’t have to be a once a year event. There are plenty of holidays and occasions within a calendar to become excited about. In the dire cold of winter, you can make a Christmas truly special by wearing a Santa costume...More
Scary Costumes: If you want to make your Halloween night really scary, we can help you to look truly frightening with our monstrous selection of scary Halloween costumes. You will find plenty of witches, vampires, mummies, and other scary monsters to choose from...More
Sexy Costume: It may be the middle of fall when Halloween hits, but the night can still be hot with the help of a sexy adult costume. Tight-fitting, revealing women’s costumes can add a touch of spice and adventure to the average Halloween party and with a pair of fish-net stocking thrown...More
Spiderman Costume: One of the more trendy costumes out there would probably be a Spiderman costume. With three movies already underway there’s a good chance that if you purchase a Spiderman costume now it won’t be outdated since the last Spiderman movie...More
Teen Costumes: Teenagers are very much particular in choosing their costumes, be it for the ordinary events like the regular shopping or for the most exciting events like that of the Halloween teen costumes. This is one of the prestige issues and in no way the teen agers...More
Toga Costume: Halloween parties are becoming increasing popular for grown-up members of the family and a great way to make your party interesting is to go with a theme. Perhaps you could make it all Disney costumes, or perhaps inviting your guests to come in their creepiest scary costume...More
Witch Costume: Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble……Even back in Shakespearean times, witches were a source of mystery and fear. Throw in their association with the scariest night of the year and you have a Halloween costume..More