Why Do We Dress Up For Halloween Anyway?
We carry around a secret inner desire to be Flo from Progressive all year long, and finally at Halloween we let her out! Is that it?
The kids might have questions about Halloween, so I did some research to prep us.
So the costumes. Halloween gives us a chance to be something we're not, and we like that release, whether it manifests as something sexy, scary, funny, or annoying, right? And sometimes it manifests as Flo, who seems to be all of those things somehow.
History.com says dressing up in costume "originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts." They wore masks when they left the house to blend in with the ghosts. Instead of plain black or white masks now we wear politicians and superheroes, so we must really stand out to the ghosts.
What about trick-or-treating? That stems back to ancient history too, when the Celts believed it was a terrible idea to turn ghosts away empty handed, and they would leave treats at their doorsteps to make them happy. Even bobbing for apples can be tied to history, when those bobbing thought it would be a good way to see into the future. One of them must have seen lots of pumpkin spice in the pot.
How did candy corn work its way in there? Nobody really knows, but we think it might because it's orange. It just fits with Halloween, and it's been around since 1880 so it has ties to history too. Then somebody figured out it was great with peanuts and now we're so addicted we can't get rid of it.
What are your Halloween superstitions? Black cats? Those were the little buddies of witches back in the day and were never really seen as bad luck or anything then by themselves. They were just always around the wrong crowd. Did you know it's good luck in other countries to have a black cat cross your path? Just not in the US.
Kids fire questions at parents all day long, and when I don't have a good answer my kids have gotten into the habit of saying, "Mama, ask your phone." So I did, and I hope you find it helpful. Now back to the candy corn.