^ Jackson, Jeanne L. (1 January 1995). Red Letter Days: The Christian Year in Story for Primary Assembly. Nelson Thornes. p. 158. ISBN 9780748719341. Later, it became the custom for poorer Christians to offer prayers for the dead, in return for money or food (soul cakes) from their wealthier neighbours. People would go 'souling' - rather like carol singing - requesting alms or soul cakes: 'A soul, a soul, a soul cake, Please to give us a soul cake, One for Peter, two for Paul, have mercy on us Christians all.'
There have been controversial costumes over the years. One that sparked enormous controversy well before Halloween 2015 is a "Caitlyn Jenner" corset costume. Despite public outcry claiming that the costume is offensive, popular retailers plan to go full steam ahead with selling the costume; one defending their conviction to sell the costume as a celebration of Jenner.[30]

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Winter is here. And holy bananas did it take forever! Just about everyone had been patiently (some not-so-patiently) waiting to witness the conclusion of Game of Thrones. We almost thought it would never come, but with 2019 here, we finally got our wish! Chock full of White Walkers, heartfelt reunions, epic battles, and more than a few tragic deaths, it put all of the theories to rest and marked a conclusion to the series. Along with this rekindled love of everything Westeros is Game of Thrones costumes. With the complicated nature of our main protagonists, Jon Snow costumes and Daenerys Targaryen costumes are at the top of the list when it comes to the best Game of Thrones characters to dress up as this year. Other great ideas include Jaime Lannister, considering his recent arc in the show and Arya Stark, since no one messes with that deadly little lady! With so many characters it might be hard to decide which character to dress as, so go ahead and browse through our full selection of Game of Thrones costume ideas.


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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Customer Service When it Matters. Nowadays you can buy a Halloween costume pretty much anywhere. The online world is filled with pop-up stores and one-off sellers who only sell costumes in October and then disappear. Or, in addition to selling Halloween merchandise they also sell cell phones, copiers and staplers. At Halloween Express, selling Halloween costumes is our core business. It's what we do and we do it year round! In fact we've been doing it since 1990. You might say we're experts at all things Halloween. If you have a question about an item you see on our website or have a request, our team of Halloween specialists are here to help. You can reach us by phone, email or even Live Chat. During the Halloween season we're open 7 days a week to assist you. You can place your order here online or you can give us a call. Our call center is staffed by knowledgeable personnel who know what they're talking about. And if we can't answer your question, we'll follow-up. After the sale we want you to be satisfied with your purchase. We understand problems occasionally occur with orders and deliveries. We also understand that sometimes customers change their mind. Our commitment is to provide the best, hassle-free resolution we can. Simply put, if you purchase an item online on this website and are not satisfied with your purchase, you can return the item to us within 30 days for a refund. While we have a liberal return policy, there are some limitations so we encourage customers to make sure they review the details of our return policy here on our site.

Turn your favorite Instagram filter into an easy costume you and your significant other can both use. To make it, pull up Instagram stories on your phone and select the "Heart Eyes" filter. Then, point the phone at a blank surface and take a screenshot. Send the screenshot file to a printing or office supplies store to have it blown up and printed on a thick board. Then, cut out a part in the middle for your face.

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At Halloween Express we stock more costumes in more sizes and more styles than anyone for Halloween but as one of the largest costume retailers in the country, we also offer costumes, accessories and party supplies for virtually every holiday or event you can imagine and we do it year round. In fact, no matter the holiday or event, we stock the unique and hard to find costumes, props and decorations in styles and sizes no one else has. That's why you'll find all of the latest styles and hard to find costumes and accessories right here in one place.

During the Halloween seasonal event, which lasts from October 20th    / October 1st  until November 1 / November 10th    , several enemies wear costumes that change their appearance, unique enemies spawn, and new items become available via enemy drops or via purchase. Goodie Bags also drop, offering random Halloween-themed items, mostly decorative or vanity.

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Halloween Costume Resources. When it comes to favorite holidays, many folks say Halloween is high up on their list. Over 67% of Americans celebrate Halloween, whether it is by trick-or-treating or going to a costume party. The fact is Halloween has become a holiday that is no longer considered just for kids to enjoy. Of course finding that perfect costume or even deciding what you want to dress up as for Halloween can be an agonizing decision for some. And then once you do decide, no one wants to be wearing the same costume as everyone else. Most people want to be unique - to stand out from the rest. Even if you're dressing up for an event other than Halloween - whether it be Santa Claus for a Christmas event, Mardi Gras, St. Patricks Day or even Uncle Sam for a Fourth of July Event - finding ways to make your costume different can be challenging. The same holds true for decorating your home for Halloween or throwing a Halloween party. There's so many options it's overwhelming. Where do you start? Never fear! We're here to help. Our Halloween Costume Resource Center contains one of the most exhaustive lists of helpful and informative costuming and decorating tips, tricks and resources you'll find anywhere. In addition to over 50 How-To videos that walk you through step-by-step, the process to create a unique costume look that will set you apart from everyone else. We've also provided links to nearly 100 articles and video resources to assist you with everything from decorating your home for Halloween, choosing the right pumpkin to carve, understanding the differences in fog machines, how to care for latex masks and even some popular recipes sure to be a hit at your next Halloween party. And we're adding more material all the time.

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Halloween Costume Resources. When it comes to favorite holidays, many folks say Halloween is high up on their list. Over 67% of Americans celebrate Halloween, whether it is by trick-or-treating or going to a costume party. The fact is Halloween has become a holiday that is no longer considered just for kids to enjoy. Of course finding that perfect costume or even deciding what you want to dress up as for Halloween can be an agonizing decision for some. And then once you do decide, no one wants to be wearing the same costume as everyone else. Most people want to be unique - to stand out from the rest. Even if you're dressing up for an event other than Halloween - whether it be Santa Claus for a Christmas event, Mardi Gras, St. Patricks Day or even Uncle Sam for a Fourth of July Event - finding ways to make your costume different can be challenging. The same holds true for decorating your home for Halloween or throwing a Halloween party. There's so many options it's overwhelming. Where do you start? Never fear! We're here to help. Our Halloween Costume Resource Center contains one of the most exhaustive lists of helpful and informative costuming and decorating tips, tricks and resources you'll find anywhere. In addition to over 50 How-To videos that walk you through step-by-step, the process to create a unique costume look that will set you apart from everyone else. We've also provided links to nearly 100 articles and video resources to assist you with everything from decorating your home for Halloween, choosing the right pumpkin to carve, understanding the differences in fog machines, how to care for latex masks and even some popular recipes sure to be a hit at your next Halloween party. And we're adding more material all the time.
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]
[32] Researchers conducted a survey for the National Retail Federation in the United States and found that 53.3 percent of consumers planned to buy a costume for Halloween 2005, spending $38.11 on average (up $10 from the year before). They were also expected to spend $4.96 billion in 2006, up significantly from just $3.3 billion the previous year.[33] The troubled economy has caused many Americans to cut back on Halloween spending. In 2009, the National Retail Federation anticipated that American households would decrease Halloween spending by as much as 15% to $56.31.[34] In 2013, Americans spent an estimated $6.9 billion to celebrate Halloween, including a predicted $2.6 billion on costumes (with more spent on adult costumes than for children's costumes) and $330 million on pet costumes.[35][36] In 2017 it was estimated that Americans would spend $9.1 billion on Halloween merchandise with $3.4 billion of that being on spend on Halloween costumes.[37]

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^ Cleene, Marcel. Compendium of Symbolic and Ritual Plants in Europe. Man & Culture, 2002. p.108. Quote: "Soul cakes were small cakes baked as food for the deceased or offered for the salvation of their souls. They were therefore offered at funerals and feasts of the dead, laid on graves, or given to the poor as representatives of the dead. The baking of these soul cakes is a universal practice".
Halloween costumes are costumes worn on or around Halloween, a festival which falls on October 31. An early reference to wearing costumes at Halloween comes from Scotland in 1585, but they may pre-date this. There are many references to the custom during the 18th and 19th centuries in the Celtic countries of Scotland, Ireland, Mann and Wales. It has been suggested that the custom comes from the Celtic festivals of Samhain and Calan Gaeaf, or from the practise of "souling" during the Christian observance of Allhallowtide. Wearing costumes and mumming has long been associated with festivals at other times of the year, such as on Christmas.[1] Halloween costumes are traditionally based on frightening supernatural or folkloric beings. However, by the 1930s costumes based on characters in mass media such as film, literature, and radio were popular. Halloween costumes have tended to be worn mainly by young people, but since the mid-20th century they have been increasingly worn by adults also.

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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!
[32] Researchers conducted a survey for the National Retail Federation in the United States and found that 53.3 percent of consumers planned to buy a costume for Halloween 2005, spending $38.11 on average (up $10 from the year before). They were also expected to spend $4.96 billion in 2006, up significantly from just $3.3 billion the previous year.[33] The troubled economy has caused many Americans to cut back on Halloween spending. In 2009, the National Retail Federation anticipated that American households would decrease Halloween spending by as much as 15% to $56.31.[34] In 2013, Americans spent an estimated $6.9 billion to celebrate Halloween, including a predicted $2.6 billion on costumes (with more spent on adult costumes than for children's costumes) and $330 million on pet costumes.[35][36] In 2017 it was estimated that Americans would spend $9.1 billion on Halloween merchandise with $3.4 billion of that being on spend on Halloween costumes.[37]
Pleasing kids can be tough. Those young whippersnappers seem to be into something new every week! Paw Patrol this week and then Cars the next! What might look like one of the most popular Halloween costumes one second could become old news in a flash. The good news is that we've picked up on a few costume ideas for kids that are holding strong throughout 2019. Superheroes are still big this year with Avengers characters running strong. Star Wars costumes for kids are another hot trend. With the final movie of the trilogy coming out this year, plenty of kids are ready to experience their generation's Star Wars story come to an end. If all else fails, you can always default to Disney costumes. With such a large selection of movies to choose from, they're always popular among younger children.
There have been controversial costumes over the years. One that sparked enormous controversy well before Halloween 2015 is a "Caitlyn Jenner" corset costume. Despite public outcry claiming that the costume is offensive, popular retailers plan to go full steam ahead with selling the costume; one defending their conviction to sell the costume as a celebration of Jenner.[30]

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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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