Costumes and Customs during Halloween

It is common practice during Halloween to spot some common costumes. Some practices however are fairly recent. The Halloween postcards exchanged earlier on in the early 20th century depict children in celebration during the Halloween season. They are all draped in Halloween costumes standing at door steps, presumably on their treat or trick escapades.

The treat or trick concept seems to have been a late development in the celebration of Halloween. Indeed it is not mentioned anywhere in the paraphernalia collections of the earlier time until the mid-thirties, particularly in the USA.

The concept behind the design, color and form of costume people use during Halloween is closely linked to the eerie imagination of how things can possibly be in the supernatural world. The thing is: the scarier you are dressed the closer you are at capturing the essence of the Halloween.

The goal is to appear as macabre as possible for the maximum effect of fear. As you would expect then, the costumes are designed to portray the scary images of spirits, skeletons, ogres, monsters, devils, ghosts and witches. Lately, however, the costumes have been modified and redesigned to pick out some characters from the modern movie theatres. The advent of popular costumes particularly in America is synonymous with the emergence and spread of the treat or trick practices during Halloween.

Costuming had emerged and developed much earlier in the 19th century in Scotland. In America it is believed to have become popular and been a commercial concern for many costume making firms in the 20th C. These costumes are meant for guising as ghosts or spirits in this season.

The initial large dispatch of Halloween costumes from costume makers appeared in 1930.There are parties especially dedicated for Halloween purpose. Usually people would show up in special Halloween costumes in these parties. These sorts of parties would normally fall around the end of October. They often fall on the Saturday or Friday before the Halloween.

The party stunts associated to Halloween are quite a number. However, the one major stunt that has caught the eye of the international community is the trick or treat ritual. This Halloween teaser game was clearly commonplace somewhere in the 50s.It gained popularity in Europe and North America to the extent that UNICEF decided to get involved.

At the onset, UNICEF designed small boxes to be used on Halloween by schools to raise money for the children’s welfare organization. These boxes were distributed round schools and effectively did a great job of raising funds under the auspices of Halloween. The program was later redesigned to cater for the security and logistical concerns that emerged. They discontinued the small boxes program in Canada in 2006.

Other Halloween Fun and Games

There are numerous games children and people in general play during Halloween. In one of the old games, on one of the greeting cards collected from the 1904 an aspect of divination is portrayed. There is an image of a young woman peering into a room without lighting; with a hope to view her future husbands face by spectacle. Another common game that has become a favorite of many is the apple bobbing game.

It is also referred to as dunking. In this game, a participant is asked to remove apples floating in a trough of water using their mouth. The games are also varied depending on the creative strengths and sense of adventure of the participants. In one instance, a participant is asked to pick out the apples with a fork clenched between the teeth. Others involve attempting to eat treacle from a hanging string without using one’s hands. This activity is fairly challenging and participants end up messing their faces with sticky paste from the treacle or syrup smeared scones.