From at least the 16th century,[5] the festival included mumming and guising,[6] which involved people going house-to-house in costume (or in disguise), usually reciting verses or songs in exchange for food.[6] It may have originally been a tradition whereby people impersonated the Aos Sí, or the souls of the dead, and received offerings on their behalf. Impersonating these beings, or wearing a disguise, was also believed to protect oneself from them.[7] It is suggested that the mummers and guisers "personify the old spirits of the winter, who demanded reward in exchange for good fortune".[8] F. Marian McNeill suggests the ancient pagan festival included people wearing masks or costumes to represent the spirits, and that faces were marked (or blackened) with ashes taken from the sacred bonfire.[5] In parts of southern Ireland, a man dressed as a Láir Bhán (white mare) led youths house-to-house reciting verses—some of which had pagan overtones—in exchange for food. If the household donated food it could expect good fortune from the 'Muck Olla'; not doing so would bring misfortune.[9] In 19th century Scotland, youths went house-to-house with masked, painted or blackened faces, often threatening to do mischief if they were not welcomed.[6] In parts of Wales, men went about dressed as fearsome beings called gwrachod,[6] while in some places, young people cross-dressed.[6] Elsewhere in Europe, mumming and costumes were part of other yearly festivals. However, in the Celtic-speaking regions they were "particularly appropriate to a night upon which supernatural beings were said to be abroad and could be imitated or warded off by human wanderers".[6] It has also been suggested that the wearing of Halloween costumes developed from the custom of souling, which was practised by Christians in parts of Western Europe from at least the 15th century.[10][11] At Allhallowtide, groups of poor people would go door-to-door, collecting soul cakes – either as representatives of the dead,[12] or in return for saying prayers for them.[13] One 19th century English writer said it "used to consist of parties of children, dressed up in fantastic costume, who went round to the farm houses and cottages, signing a song, and begging for cakes (spoken of as "Soal-cakes"), apples, money, or anything that the goodwives would give them".[14] The soulers typically asked for "mercy on all Christian souls for a soul cake".[15] The practice was mentioned by Shakespeare his play The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593).[16][17] Christian minister Prince Sorie Conteh wrote on the wearing of costumes: "It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints' Day, and All Hallows' Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognised by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities".[18] In the Middle Ages, statues and relics of martyred saints were paraded through the streets at Allhallowtide. Some churches who could not afford these things had people dress as saints instead.[19][20] Some believers continue the practice of dressing as saints, biblical figures, and reformers in Halloween celebrations today.[21] Many Christians in continental Europe, especially in France, believed that on Halloween "the dead of the churchyards rose for one wild, hideous carnival," known as the danse macabre, which has often been depicted in church decoration.[22] An article published by Christianity Today claimed the danse macabre was enacted at village pageants and at court masques, with people "dressing up as corpses from various strata of society", and suggested this was the origin of Halloween costume parties.[23][24]

Another gigantic series coming to a close this year is the Star Wars sequels. It's been quite the rollercoaster ride over these last few years. First, we got a glimpse of our favorite characters from the galaxy far, far away when The Force Awakens hit theaters. Then, The Last Jedi sparked up controversy by subverting everyone's preconceived notions about the Star Wars universe. Love it or hate it, you have to admit that it really showed the world just how passionate people still are about it all! Now, we get to see how J.J. Abrams wraps up the whole saga. That's why Star Wars costumes are setting up to be a pretty big deal this year. The final chapter, The Rise of Skywalker, focuses around the struggle between Rey and Kylo, so expect them to be hot costume ideas this year. Classic favorites will also be a strong choice this year, since many will still be ready to honor the late Carrie Fisher's memory by donning a Princess Leia costume. Partially due to Mark Hamill's stunning performances in the new Star Wars movies, we'd also place our bets on Luke Skywalker being a major player in the costume game this year! And then there's Chewie. When it comes to Star Wars costumes for adults, Chewbacca NEVER goes out of style, so if you're looking for a costume to stand the test of time, always choose the Wookiee.

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Upcycle an old black umbrella into a seriously impressive bat costume. Just cut your umbrella in half and then use black safety pins or hot glue to attach it to the arms of a black hoodie. Use black electrical tape to fasten the hinges of the metal umbrella pieces as needed to help them properly fold. Create ears with foam core and feathers for a little extra texture!

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A stealthy ninja, scurvy pirate, sexy peacock, or huggable bunny — or are you looking for a Halloween costume a bit off the beaten path, like a whoopee cushion? Whatever your budget, intent, and tastes, Party City has the right costume for you: hilarious group Halloween costumes so that you and your friends can celebrate as a united front, thousands upon thousands of Halloween costumes for kids and adults, carefully matched couples costumes sure to draw looks of admiration, and sexy Halloween costumes almost too hot to handle. Everything is priced to move — our Halloween costumes for 2018 are as easy on the pocketbook as they are on the eye. All costumes are tested for quality and safety; many come fully accessorized, creating an instant character straight out of the package. Other Halloween costumes give you a choice of wigs, wings, shoes, jewelry, and other optional accessories to purchase, allowing you to complete your character in a way that's uniquely your own. Our online selection of costumes for kids and adults is backed by over 800 retail stores across the United States and bolstered by nearly 35 years in the Halloween costume business. We invite you to comparison shop — the more you look the more you'll love our prices, our exceptional selection, and our friendly sales and customer service representatives. Questions about costume availability, material, and fit? To have your questions answered promptly and courteously, please visit your local Party City store, or contact one of our customer service representatives, who'll help you place an order or address concerns you may have about anything Halloween costume-related! 

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