Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat. The end of October is nigh and that means the majority of the western world is preparing for an event that gives dread to parents, dentists, and diabetologists all around the world… Halloween.
Halloween in the present is a form of casual holiday. There are usually 2 sides to current Halloween celebrations, one is the tradition of Trick or Treat and the other is putting on costumes. You might be wondering where did this weird celebration come from?
The Not so Brief History of Halloween
Halloween’s origin is thought to date back to the Festival of Samhain, an ancient Celtic celebration. Samhain marks the end of summer and the start of winter. This is significant because winter is associated with human death. Celtic supernatural beliefs state that at this time the boundary between the land of the living and the dead overlap and on October 31st they believed that spirits, elementals, fae will return to Earth.
Celts believed that aside from causing crop damage and issues with the harvest, the presence of these otherworldly beings made it easier for Celtic priests/ Druids, to predict future events. During the celebration, the Celts built sizeable bonfires wherein they can sacrifice crops and animals to their Celtic Gods. IN this celebration, the Celts wore animal head and skin costumes.
The switch from Samhain to what we know now as Halloween was influenced by Christianity and it’s practices. Halloween is the evening before All Saints’ Day, aka All Hallows’ Day, and All Souls’ Day. These three days are what is colloquially known as Allhallowtide (not a typo) and is basically for honouring the saints and praying for the souls of the departed who haven’t reached heaven yet.
The feast of All Hallows can be traced to Pope Gregory III, but the switch to November 1 was done in 835AD at the behest of Pope Gregory IV. There is a theory that this date was chosen due to either Celtic or Germanic influence because in both cultures commemorated the dearly departed at the beginning of winter. The church might have seen it to be fitting, since winter time is seen as the time nature is “dying”.
You might be wondering how Halloween became something of a cultural phenomenon around the world, and I would say that it’s pretty much because America… The celebration of All Hallows Eve was limited when it initially came to the United States of America due to the very strict Protestant belief system and population, although it was much more common in many southern colonies and in Maryland as well.
As time passes, the beliefs and ideals that originated from Europe meshed and blended with the beliefs of Native Americans. With this blending of these two cultures, a distinctively American iteration of Halloween was born. Celebrations included play parties where the local community would gather to sing, dance, fortunetelling, and sharing stories of the dead. Halloween’s festivities in the colonies also included the telling of scary stories and mischief-making.
During the middle of the 19th century autumn festivals were common, Halloween though was still not celebrated widely in the country. This all changed when America accepted millions of Irish people escaping to the new world. This influx of Irish immigrants helped spread not only St. Patrick’s Day (incidentally, we also offer a St. Patrick’s Day kilt as well… Get yours now) but Halloween as well, around the country.
Trick or Treat. Where did that come from?
Trick or Treat, a staple of the quintessential Halloween celebration, especially when you were younger. The thing with Trick or Treat is that it borrowed from European Traditions and American’s took to dressing up in costumes to go from house-to-house and ask for food, sounds familiar? Yeah, this is the origin of Trick or Treat.
The movement to make Halloween less of a religious holiday to a more secular happened in the latter half of the 1800s in America, where it became more about communities gathering together rather than the more superstitious and paranormal aspect of Halloween. Parties are more focused on games, foods and costumes that are more festive.
The “traditional Halloween Trick or treating” that we know resurfaced sometime between the 20s and 50s. This celebration was believed to be an inexpensive way for a community to celebrate the occasion.
So a new American tradition is born, and due to globalism it would spread to most of the developed world.
Kilts as Costumes.
Since we’re a Kilt Company, you might ask why the heck are we, all of a sudden, doing a deep dive on Halloween. That is because we are trying to spread the word that aside from being fantastic everyday wear as well as stunning formal wear. Utility kilts can be used to give your Halloween costume a fresh new spin.
If you ask me which movie character can I represent when I wear a kilt… Well, to be frank, Kilt wearing protagonists are indeed a bit underrepresented in movies. You have 2 well known options for a kilt wearing badasses. William Wallace from Braveheart or Connor Macleod from Highlander.
Yes. I’ve been doing research for this blog article for literally 3 days now and for the life of me these 2 are THE only kilt wearing protagonists I could find. If you think of anything else. Hit us up on our Facebook and Instagram.
So out of the box you could say there are some slim pickings for Kilted Heroes to wear, but here’s the thing… You can move beyond those two choices. Sure wearing a Jacobite shirt, blue face paint and a Two-Handed sword called a Claymore is indeed badass so is brandishing clan Macleod’s long sword and pretending to fight other immortals to gain their power until there is only one, but the kilt can be adapted to pretty much any costumes, and it will make it unique.
Drowning in a sea of Zombies for Halloween? A kilt will elevate you from the zombie horde. Feeling like you’re in a bad Twilight reunion with a ton of Vampires running around? Wear a kilt. Nobody’s seen a Scottish vampire before.
Speaking of Scottish… You can also finally do a Scottish icon right. IF you’re planning to go as Shrek… Wear a kilt, can’t get any more Scottish than that. A kilt can take an ordinary costume and take it up several notches, and you can be darn sure that your costume would be eye catching AF.
Check out our selections of kilts to see which one can help level up your costume game. Or if you want to your kilt to have a distinctive Halloween colour scheme check out our Phoenix Utility Kilt, it’s comfortable, tough, eye catching, and fireproof, yep you read that right, fireproof.