Are you planning a big group celebration for Samhain this year? Have some fun with costume ideas for Halloween. There are a few different reasons behind wearing costumes at Samhain, besides it being simply fun to celebrate and do so.
Souls of the dead on Halloween and Samhain
The wearing of costumes and roaming around from door to door demanding treats can be traced all the way back to the Celtic period and the first few centuries of the Christian era. During those time periods, it was thought that the souls of the dead were out and around, along with the night fairies, witches, and demons. The offerings of food and drink were being left out in order to placate the souls of the dead.
Mumming on Halloween and Samhain
Over the centuries the tradition wore on, and people began dressing like these dreadful creatures. The traditions eventually evolved to performing antics in exchange for food and drink. This practice is called mumming, from which the practice of trick-or-treating from door to door evolved. For Pagans, witches, ghosts, and skeleton figures of the dead are among their favorite Samhain disguises.
Reasons for costumes on Samhain and Halloween
Pagan tradition is that the veil to the other world of spirits is thinnest between this world and the spirit world on the night of Samhain. On Samhain, the spirits are said to walk the earth. You can wear a costume for a few different reasons. For one, you can make sure the demons don’t recognise you with a good disguise. Or, you can dress super evil and make the demons think you are one of their own. Finally, you can wear the costume to scare the demons away!
One of the traditional methods of ensuring that you could not be recognised by demons/the evil eye is to dress in the opposite gender’s clothing LOL. So, boys can wear dresses if they dare, and girls can wear trousers. Of course this disguise of dressing as the opposite sex for Halloween is a general thing, and not peculiar to Samhain.
Respect for the spirits out on Samhain and Halloween
If you are celebrating Samhain and your celebrations have nothing to do with demons, you shouldn’t worry about it. Just have fun and get creative with your Halloween costume. Just because the veil thins out in November and May, doesn’t mean you have anything to fear. There will always be that vestigial feeling that the dead are to be feared, but you should only fear the dead if you feared them in life. Even then, your fear should only be out of a healthy respect or wariness, not a real dread.
Some pagan/heathen beliefs completely venerate the ancestors, so the idea of fearing the dead would be quite incomprehensible to them! If they have a deceased relatives for example, they will be paying homage to them on Halloween with a séance that summons them, certainly not in fear of them at all.