Costumes remain a BOOming tradition

Halloween is popular not only because it serves as an excuse to consume tons of sugary sweets, but also because it gives people a reason to strut around in ridiculous costumes. Whether it is children, teens, adults, or pets who decide to dress up, costumes have been a hit among all ever since the holiday was first celebrated almost 2,000 years ago. Some adore costumes because they provide an ideal outlet for self-expression; however, it is important to dress appropriately.

“€œI love dressing up. The more outrageous, the better,”€ junior Hannah Bonestroo said. “€œBut remember, kids – keep it classy.”€

Since modern times call for modern costumes, there has been an increase in popularity of costumes inspired by TV characters, celebrities, and animals versus the traditional witches, zombies, or devils.

“€œOne year I was a fairy and another year I was Hermione Granger,”€ junior Rachel Dieter said. “€œI never enjoyed dressing up too scary.”€

Since spooky costumes have been around since the beginning of Halloween, they should not be completely pushed aside. It is believed that the tradition of dressing up for Halloween began with the Celtic holiday of Samhain. On October 31st, the night before Samhain, they believed that the boundary between the living and the dead became very thin; spirits of the dead walked through the Earth on their journey to the afterlife. According to the American Folklife Center at the United States Library of Congress, the Celts wore costumes such as animal skins to confuse these spirits and to avoid being possessed.

“€œIt’€™s weird to think people used to believe that spirits haunted the Earth,” Bonestroo said. “€œHalloween is definitely not celebrated like it used to be.”€

Although the purpose of celebrating Halloween has certainly changed, it does not make the holiday any less popular among U.S. citizens. According to the National Retail Federation, this year Americans will spend $1 billion on children’€™s costumes, $1.21 billion on adult costumes, and $310 million on pet costumes. Whether it will be watching candy-crazed children dressed as superheroes and princesses scamper down the streets, dressing up with friends for the Fall Ball, or forcing pets into adorable outfits, there are plenty of opportunities to appreciate costumes this Halloween.