^ 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".
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.
From at least the 16th century, the festival included mumming and guising, which involved people going house-to-house in costume (or in disguise), usually reciting verses or songs in exchange for food. 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. It is suggested that the mummers and guisers "personify the old spirits of the winter, who demanded reward in exchange for good fortune". 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. 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. 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. In parts of Wales, men went about dressed as fearsome beings called gwrachod, while in some places, young people cross-dressed. 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". 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. At Allhallowtide, groups of poor people would go door-to-door, collecting soul cakes – either as representatives of the dead, or in return for saying prayers for them. 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". The soulers typically asked for "mercy on all Christian souls for a soul cake". The practice was mentioned by Shakespeare his play The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593). 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". 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. Some believers continue the practice of dressing as saints, biblical figures, and reformers in Halloween celebrations today. 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. 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.
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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.
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Claws And Infect · Crazy Legs · Fowl Fists · Head Hunter · Nugget Noggin · Talon Trotters · Battle Bird · Ghoul Gibbin' Gear · Hellhunter's Headpiece · Supernatural Stalker · Arsonist Apparatus · Creature's Grin · Lollichop Licker · Moccasin Machinery · Mr. Juice · Vampyro · Eyeborg · Forgotten King's Pauldrons · Forgotten King's Restless Head · Mannhattan Project · Bone-Cut Belt · Bull Locks · Immobile Suit · Minsk Beef · Beep Man · Garden Bristles · Iron Fist · Soul of 'Spensers Past · Tiny Texan · Herzensbrecher · Hundkopf · Kriegsmaschine-9000 · Templar's Spirit · Vampire Makeover · Vampiric Vesture · Wings of Purity · Cranial Conspiracy · Kanga Kickers · Marsupial Man · Marsupial Muzzle · Mr. Mundee's Wild Ride · Roo Rippers · Scaly Scrapers · Facepeeler · Nightmare Hunter · Rogue's Rabbit · Shadowman's Shade · Ghost of Spies Checked Past · Hooded Haunter · Li'l Dutchman
 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. 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. 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. 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.
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This Halloween, make sure you stay on trend with all the hottest and most popular Halloween costume ideas! We have brand new 2019 costumes based on your favorite pop culture events and movies from this year including NASA astronauts, llamas, the Avengers, sloths, Game of Thrones, and even the Descendants 3 costumes! Check out our 2019 costume guide down below for great Halloween costume ideas!
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You just can't keep a good clown down. Although Batman does a pretty bang-up job of keeping the peace in Gotham City, The Joker and Harley Quinn always seem to show up to wreak some havoc. In 2019, we have a brand new movie starring Joaquin Phoenix as the troubled Arthur Fleck, the man who would become The Joker. This has revitalized interest in the classic DC villain, despite not being set in the current DC universe continuity. And Harley? Well, Harley Quinn is ALWAYS popular. She proves to be one of the greatest villainess characters to ever grace the pages of a comic book. Murmurs of the new Birds of Prey movie have already begun, so we expect our favorite Harlequin to surge in popularity as more news about the film trickles out.
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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. 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. It was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter.