Halloween Costume Highlights

Casey Chang, Staff Writer

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The annual tradition of giving out candy, apple bobbing, and dressing up, all come from Europe over 2,000 years ago to celebrate and honor the passed. Areas like the United Kingdom, the Roman Empire, and Northern France celebrated festivals like the Celtic festival of Samhain, which consisted of a bonfire and costumes.

Although they had the festival to honor those who passed, they used the bonfire to ward off ghost. Celtics believed that their ancestors would come back as ghosts and could destroy crops and the night of Halloween was when the boundary between worlds opened and evil entities could escape. Even though spirits could ravage through the night many priests used them to predict the futures of the individuals who seek comfort before the dark winter.

This lead to dressing up in animal skins to scare ghosts and help prediction of future. Many costumes were made of animal heads, skins, and furs because they would sacrifice animals and crops during their bonfire to please the gods.

While this was popular apple bobbing was not a trend until 43 A.D. during the time that the Roman Empire took over the Celtic’s territory. They combined their traditions of Feralia and honoring Pomona, the goddess of fruit and trees, to celebrate and praise Pomona her symbol became the apple and was incorporated into Samhain.

However, the “trick-or-treat” aspect of Halloween wasn’t incorporated until Americans adopted the holiday. This did not happen until the late 1800’s when newspapers and community leaders advocated for taking the gore out of Halloween. Once this happens Halloween became a family friendly and neighbor gathering tradition.

Without a doubt, the history of Halloween is important but definitely better with all the adaptations to the Celtic holiday. No matter how much Halloween changed it is still a time for spooky tradition that represents many cultures.

This Halloween, many AV students dressed up to celebrate this holiday. See the slideshow that we put together for memorable costumes!