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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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.
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.

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Before you rush to the craft store or start filling up your Amazon cart, take a closer look at what you already own because most of these homemade costume ideas, which range in price, theme, and crafting ability, are simply an elevated version of what you have hanging in your closet. With minimal effort and materials, you can easily throw together these last-minute looks to bring color, puns, and pop culture to the party. That makes these genius, party-ready picks the best costumes ever, right? Your wallet and Instagram feed vote yes.

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.

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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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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.
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]
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.

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