"Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.
To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter." Quoted from History.com
Druids. Bonfires. Celtic deities. That's all great, but for me Halloween is about one thing: the costumes!
My penchant for pretend started when I was still in Pampers. I am told that as a toddler, I often got into my mother's cosmetics and even cut my hair on more than one occassion. Some might view such antics as mischievious, but I like to think the inner-thesbian in me was trying to get out.
|The author at 2.5 years old, refusing to|
wear her Easter dress because she
wants to wear her Halloween costume.
Through the years, I have dressed up as a Greek Goddess, Hobo, Werewolf, Flower Fairy, Ghoul, Civil War Maiden, and, Marie Antoinette!
|Me, striking a pose as a Civil War Maiden|
|Me as a Flower Fairy|
I have always dreamt of being a guest at a Masquerade Ball, like the kind held in Paris during Marie Antoinette's first years in France. Unfortunately, none of my friends nurture the same dream. So, this Halloween, I decided to dress as a Masquerade Go-er - complete with ballgown, gloves, domino, and mask! I hope I don't frighten my new neighbors!
Are you dressing up this Halloween? If so, what are you dressing up as?