^ 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.'

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The practice may have originated in a Celtic festival, held on 31 October–1 November, to mark the beginning of winter. It was called Samhain in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man, and Calan Gaeaf in Wales, Cornwall and Brittany. The festival is believed to have pre-Christian roots. After the Christianization of Ireland in the 5th century, some of these customs may have been retained in the Christian observance of All Hallows' Eve in that region—which continued to be called Samhain/Calan Gaeaf—blending the traditions of their ancestors with Christian ones.[2][3] It was seen as a liminal time, when the spirits or fairies (the Aos Sí), and the souls of the dead, could more easily come into our world.[4] It was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter.
Halloween is an open invitation to be — and dress as — just about anything or anyone. That freedom, while exciting, can be overwhelming when it comes time to pick out a costume for Halloween parties. If you've been struggling to make a decision about your 2019 look or simply lost track of time, these last-minute costumes will inspire you to DIY, stat.
Looking for Costume Ideas? If you're having a difficult time deciding what you want to be for Halloween - or anytime of year - check out our HALLOWEEN COSTUME IDEAS section where we have assembled more than 300 costume ideas segmented into 15 different categories to help with your search. Of course you'll also find the latest costumes from your favorite movies. If you're interested in making your own DIY Halloween costume, we can help there too! Our collection of over 60 DIY How-To-Videos are a wealth of knowledge to help you make the most of your Halloween costume this year. 

Halloween costumes in the contemporary Western world sometimes depict people and things from present times and are sometimes read in terms of their political and cultural significance. Halloween costumes are sometimes denounced for cultural appropriation when they uncritically use stereotypical representations of other groups of people.[38][39] Immigration and Customs Enforcement Secretary Julie Myers was involved in a scandal when she awarded "Best Costume" at the ICE Halloween party to an 'escaped Jamaican prisoner' dressed in dreadlocks and blackface.[40]

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The practice may have originated in a Celtic festival, held on 31 October–1 November, to mark the beginning of winter. It was called Samhain in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man, and Calan Gaeaf in Wales, Cornwall and Brittany. The festival is believed to have pre-Christian roots. After the Christianization of Ireland in the 5th century, some of these customs may have been retained in the Christian observance of All Hallows' Eve in that region—which continued to be called Samhain/Calan Gaeaf—blending the traditions of their ancestors with Christian ones.[2][3] It was seen as a liminal time, when the spirits or fairies (the Aos Sí), and the souls of the dead, could more easily come into our world.[4] It was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter.

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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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We know you’ve spent the past month, if not the past few months, trying to come up with the perfect group costume idea for all your friends to participate in on Halloween. And since Halloween is our jam, we went ahead and did all the idea hunting for you. So as much as you’d like to all dress up as a “sexy” version of something random again this year, we bet your friends will thank you for sharing these ideas with them. Scroll on for our ultimate guide to easy Halloween costumes. The best part? You can DIY any of these 71 different and unique group halloween costume ideas.
Halloweiner · Horrific Head of Hare · Hound's Hood · Face Plante · Faun Feet · Sprinting Cephalopod · Terrier Trousers ·  Cadaver's Capper · Freedom Feathers · Hardium Helm · Hidden Dragon · Larval Lid · Spellbinder's Bonnet · Faux Manchu · Grub Grenades · Jupiter Jumpers · Lieutenant Bites the Dust · Shaolin Sash · Space Bracers · Bozo's Bouffant · Burny's Boney Bonnet · Corpsemopolitan · Crispy Golden Locks · Gothic Guise · Macabre Mask · Mucous Membrain · Raven's Visage · Spectralnaut · Abhorrent Appendages · Beast from Below · Carrion Companion · Cauterizer's Caudal Appendage · Creature From The Heap · Death Support Pack · External Organ · Glob · Grisly Gumbo · Handhunter · Hard-Headed Hardware · Hollowhead · Maniac's Manacles · Monster's Stompers · PY-40 Incinibot · Rugged Respirator · Scorched Skirt · Up Pyroscopes · Vicious Visage ·  Headtaker's Hood · Mann-Bird of Aberdeen · Squid's Lid · Transylvania Top · Cap'n Calamari · Horsemann's Hand-Me-Down · Lordly Lapels · Parasight · Polly Putrid ·  Ivan The Inedible · Last Bite · Monstrous Mandible · Chicken Kiev · Horned Honcho ·  Grease Monkey ·  Alternative Medicine Mann · Das Blutliebhaber · Medimedes · Shaman's Skull · Teutonkahmun · Trepanabotomizer · Archimedes the Undying · Lo-Grav Loafers · Ramses' Regalia · Second Opinion · Surgeon's Space Suit · Vicar's Vestments ·  Carious Chameleon · Hallowed Headcase · Sir Shootsalot · Candyman's Cap · Hyperbaric Bowler · Bountiful Bow · Bozo's Brogues · Foul Cowl ·  Baphomet Trotters ·  Candleer ·  Pin Pals ·  Snaggletoothed Stetson ·  Ethereal Hood · Birdie Bonnet · Dark Helm · Haunted Hat · Magical Mercenary · Manneater · One-Way Ticket · Tuque or Treat · Accursed Apparition · Beacon from Beyond · Cryptic Keepsake · Guano · Pocket Horsemann · Quoth · Sackcloth Spook · Unidentified Following Object
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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You and your partner are the coolest/funniest/most photogenic pair. You know it's true, and the Instagram likes just about prove it! When Halloween hits, however, you both struggle to think of a clever couples Halloween costume that is just as awesome as you are. Or even if you come up with a few fun ideas, by year three or four of dressing up together, you're probably in desperate need of some inspiration. Rather than settling for another boring look (Mickey and Minnie, for example), switch things up with one of these creative — dare we say, genius — couples' Halloween costume ideas.
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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2. Minions Costumes: It’s safe to say we have a slight obsession with the lovable, squeaky minions from Despicable Me. We’re just (if not more) in love with this easy and cute group costume for you and your mischievous friends. The base of this costume is really simple — jean shorteralls, a long-sleeve yellow shirt, tall yellow socks, a yellow beanie, black gloves, and preferably black sneakers. (via Brit + Co)
Halloweiner · Horrific Head of Hare · Hound's Hood · Face Plante · Faun Feet · Sprinting Cephalopod · Terrier Trousers ·  Cadaver's Capper · Freedom Feathers · Hardium Helm · Hidden Dragon · Larval Lid · Spellbinder's Bonnet · Faux Manchu · Grub Grenades · Jupiter Jumpers · Lieutenant Bites the Dust · Shaolin Sash · Space Bracers · Bozo's Bouffant · Burny's Boney Bonnet · Corpsemopolitan · Crispy Golden Locks · Gothic Guise · Macabre Mask · Mucous Membrain · Raven's Visage · Spectralnaut · Abhorrent Appendages · Beast from Below · Carrion Companion · Cauterizer's Caudal Appendage · Creature From The Heap · Death Support Pack · External Organ · Glob · Grisly Gumbo · Handhunter · Hard-Headed Hardware · Hollowhead · Maniac's Manacles · Monster's Stompers · PY-40 Incinibot · Rugged Respirator · Scorched Skirt · Up Pyroscopes · Vicious Visage ·  Headtaker's Hood · Mann-Bird of Aberdeen · Squid's Lid · Transylvania Top · Cap'n Calamari · Horsemann's Hand-Me-Down · Lordly Lapels · Parasight · Polly Putrid ·  Ivan The Inedible · Last Bite · Monstrous Mandible · Chicken Kiev · Horned Honcho ·  Grease Monkey ·  Alternative Medicine Mann · Das Blutliebhaber · Medimedes · Shaman's Skull · Teutonkahmun · Trepanabotomizer · Archimedes the Undying · Lo-Grav Loafers · Ramses' Regalia · Second Opinion · Surgeon's Space Suit · Vicar's Vestments ·  Carious Chameleon · Hallowed Headcase · Sir Shootsalot · Candyman's Cap · Hyperbaric Bowler · Bountiful Bow · Bozo's Brogues · Foul Cowl ·  Baphomet Trotters ·  Candleer ·  Pin Pals ·  Snaggletoothed Stetson ·  Ethereal Hood · Birdie Bonnet · Dark Helm · Haunted Hat · Magical Mercenary · Manneater · One-Way Ticket · Tuque or Treat · Accursed Apparition · Beacon from Beyond · Cryptic Keepsake · Guano · Pocket Horsemann · Quoth · Sackcloth Spook · Unidentified Following Object
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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