Halloween, construction of All Hallows’ Evening, is a celebration on the eve on 31st October. All Hallows or All Saints’ Day is a festival celebrated on 1st November by Roman Catholic Church in honor of all the saints. All Souls’ Day celebrated on 2nd November in honor of all faithful departed. The practice to lit candles on graveyard came from the belief that fire warded off evil spirits. People would visit cemeteries, pray and bless the graves.
This night became a tradition, cultural identity and a chance to express creativity and feel like a child. This masks and costumes give the opportunity for fun and to be for a little while someone else.
Costumes can be homemade or commercially produced costumes. They should be frightening, spooky, scary and creepy. People used masks and costumes to try to absorb the power of its representation.
Halloween has originated from the old Celtic festival and even before that. In those times, a man painted a mask on their face with blackened ashes from the sacred bonfire and dressed up as fearsome beings. It was believed that this is the last night for the dead to have their vengeance before moving on so people wore masks and costumes not to be recognized, to scare away evil spirits and to prevent them from entering homes. They believed it was important to honor dead, so Halloween developed from Pagan ritual to Masquerade party night.
It is believed that in this celebration days the souls of the dead roam the earth. So the most common costume is the white ghost sheet, and the common mask is the ghost or spirit mask. People believed that wearing masks and costumes protected them from ghosts. This night represents the border between the living and the death. The souls of the dead were meant to revisit their homes.
Halloween has activities like:
Halloween masks and costumes represent supernatural, saints, biblical figures, folkloric and frightening beings. They can also be inspired by celebrities, pop culture figures, characters from mass media like movies, comic books, literature, and science fiction characters like superheroes and aliens. Monster masks and costumes are skeletons, ghosts, devils, zombies, vampires, Dracula, Frankenstein, witches, mummies, and werewolves.
Girls can dress in non-scary masks and costumes like angels, fairies, animals, princesses and flowers. Children and adults dress up in costumes too.
Masks and costumes include military characters, medieval knights, police officers, firefighters, presidents and etc.
In Renaissance time, Halloween costumes became popular in masquerade balls. They were not scary but beautiful and extravagant. Masks allowed upper class to take part in activities and not to be recognized.