Halloween is not just candy and costumes, ghouls and goblins, tricks or treats. No, that’s just the modern-day Halloween. The holiday’s roots actually date back thousands of years.
Halloween originates from the Celtic festival of Samhain. Over 2000 years ago the Celts celebrated the end of the harvest season on October 31 and they believed that on that night the ghosts of the dead returned to earth to destroy their crops and posses the living. Also during the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. Crops were burned and animals were sacrificed in order to”entertain the dead”.
Around 43 A.D. after the Romans conquered the majority of Celtic territory they took the festival of Samhain and combined it with two of their own festivals: Feralia, a day to remember the dead and the festival of Pomona, goddess of fruits and trees whose symbol was an apple. Fast forward a few thousand years, and now we’re bobbing for those damn things.
In 609 A.D. Pope Boniface created All Martyrs Day which incorporated many elements of the Celtic holiday of Samhain by celebrating with costumes and bonfires and attempting to convert the Celtic pagans to Christianity. The new, fusion holiday was also known as All-hallows (derived from Alholowmeesse, or All Saints’ Day in Middle English), therefore the night before became All-hallows Eve, and then Halloween.
Halloween came to the United States when European immigrants “brought their varied Halloween customs with them”. In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants including the Irish fleeing from the potato famine in Ireland in 1846. By combining Irish and English traditions, Americans began the “trick-or-treat” tradition. In the later 1800’s the holiday became more centered on community and in the 1920’s and 1930’s, Halloween became “a secular, but community-centered holiday”. In the 1950’s leaders changed Halloween as a holiday aimed at the young to limit vandalism. This all led to what Halloween actually is like today.
Trick-or-treating‘s popularity grew and helped make the holiday second only to Christmas, commercially. Americans spend over $4 billion every years on costumes and party decorations and another $2 billion on candy. The candy industry makes a quarter of the year’s revenue during Halloween alone.
Halloween is just two weeks away, which means time is running out to create the perfect costume. You can either make your own costume at home inspired by your favorite movie characters or superheroes or you can get order one from 80sTees and have in time for Halloween. Here are just a few of the costumes you can find at 80sTees.
Workaholics Bear Coat
Stormtrooper Tank Dress
Charlie Brown Ghost Costume
Sexy Rocky Costume
GI Joe Baroness
Snake Eyes Bodysuit