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#1 2023-08-07 00:52:12

Jai Ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,753

Halloween/Costume party

Halloween/Costume party


Halloween or Hallowe'en (less commonly known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve) is a celebration observed in many countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Saints' Day. It begins the observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.

One theory holds that many Halloween traditions were influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain, which are believed to have pagan roots. Some go further and suggest that Samhain may have been Christianized as All Hallow's Day, along with its eve, by the early Church. Other academics believe Halloween began solely as a Christian holiday, being the vigil of All Hallow's Day. Celebrated in Ireland and Scotland for centuries, Irish and Scottish immigrants took many Halloween customs to North America in the 19th century, and then through American influence Halloween had spread to other countries by the late 20th and early 21st century.

Popular Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising and souling), attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins or turnips into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, and watching horror or Halloween-themed films. Some people practice the Christian religious observances of All Hallows' Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, although it is a secular celebration for others. Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows' Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain vegetarian foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.


A costume party (American English) or fancy dress party (other varieties of English) is a type of party, common in contemporary Western culture, in which many of the guests are dressed in costume, usually depicting a fictional or stock character, or historical figure. Such parties are popular in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, especially during Halloween.

By country:


Australian fancy dress parties typically follow the style of the United States, and Halloween costume parties have been common since the early 1990s, even though Halloween has not historically been a celebrated event in Australia. Christmas party and cricket matches.

One of the oldest examples of fancy dress being worn in Australia is on display at the Western Australia Museum. It was a child's fancy dress costume worn by Rita Lloyd, aged nine, to the ‘Lord Mayor’s Juvenile Fancy Dress Ball’ at Mansion House in Perth on 8 January 1909.


It is a tradition to have a costume party at a university graduation.

United Kingdom

Nineteenth century

The origins of fancy dress parties in the United Kingdom can in some respects be traced to masked balls of the 18th century period. In the period to 1850, fancy dress balls were a typical part of the social life of music festivals.

Common costumes of the period were specific historical characters, generic historical or regional clothing, abstract concepts (such as "winter", "starlight" or "night"), and objects (such as "champagne bottle" or "aquarium"). Popular characters included Marie Antoinette and Elizabeth I for women and Napoleon and Robin Hood for men.

Twentieth century

Notable amongst early events in the 20th century was the Chelsea Arts Club ball. Such events were often elaborate affairs and for the most part confined to those with considerable means.

Amongst the general population, costume parties also occurred with increasing frequency from the late 1940s onward; for the most part the costumes were simple affairs until the mid-1970s. Prior to the late 1990s, most costumes were either hired or constructed at home. Although 'accessory' items had been available for some time, retail purchased costumes are, in respect of the U.K., largely since in the late 1990s. Many materials and costumes being imported from the Far East (with cost savings in labour and bulk orders) had increased in volume at that time. This has seen the price of purchased costumes becoming more and more affordable.

Coupled with the modern trend in costume parties, 'retro' fashion as a costume theme (such as a 1970s or 1980s fancy dress) is also popular, the costumes to some extent parodying or pastiching the fashions of earlier decades. Amongst the most popular parodied costumes are: Audrey Hepburn (as Holly Golightly), Madonna in her classic stage outfits, and more recently Lady Gaga.

Fancy dress parties are popular year round in the United Kingdom. The 1996 novel Bridget Jones's Diary features the classic British costume party theme "Tarts and Vicars" at which the women wear sexually provocative ("tart") costumes, while the men dress as Anglican priests ("vicars"). Fancy dress parties have been held by the British Royal Family. Prince William, heir to the British Throne, celebrated his 21st birthday with an "Out of Africa" theme, Princess Beatrice of York chose an 1888 themed party for her 18th birthday, and Lord Frederick ("Freddie") Windsor and his sister Lady Gabriella Windsor, celebrated a joint birthday party with a pre-French Revolution courtly theme.

United States

Nineteenth century

In late nineteenth century New York, costume parties were popular amongst the affluent. Costumes were typically historical European aristocracy. Authenticity was important, even extending to using actual period elements. For example, Cornelia Bradley-Martin attended her own party, the notorious Bradley-Martin Ball, dressed as Marie Antoinette, wearing jewellery actually owned and worn by Antoinette herself. The choice of aristocratic costume allowed rich Americans, with relatively limited family history, to assume some element of history and legitimacy. This coincides with the celebration of Halloween in the United States during the late nineteenth century. As a reaction to Halloween pranks and vandalism brought to the country by Celtic immigrants, women's magazines introduced a new, middle-class rendition of the holiday that would come to assert women as the dominant celebrants of Halloween throughout the coming decades. It sought to enforce the ideals of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants by encouraging young people to partake in tame, preferably indoor, activities instead, often with a focus on romance. While the middle and upper classes shifted their Halloween celebrations toward these new actives, including costume parties, the poor and immigrant populations of the United States continued to celebrate in the ways that they always had, demonstrating the effect that class differences had on costume parties during this time.

Twentieth century

Costume parties are especially popular in the United States around Halloween, when teenagers and adults who may be considered too old for trick-or-treating attend a costume party instead. Costume parties are also popular during the carnival season, such as at Mardi Gras.

Attendees occasionally dress in costume for popular science fiction and fantasy events, movie openings and book releases. Web site held a The Lord of the Rings dress Oscar party that was attended by Peter Jackson. Star Wars parties were held to celebrate the opening of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Many bookstores have held Harry Potter themed parties to celebrate the releases of the series' later novels, and some movie theaters have had Potter-themed celebrations as the movie adaptations have been released.

Larger scale 'parties' are often related to organised societies or conventions.

Fan costuming

The hobby of fan costuming and modern cosplay largely developed from the World Science Fiction Conventions (Worldcons), starting with the first in New York in 1939 when two attendees, Forrest J Ackerman and Myrtle R. Douglas, wore "futuristicostumes". From the 2nd World Science Fiction Convention (1940) in Chicago, masquerade balls were a traditional feature of the convention.


Fan conventions, often abbreviated to "cons", of various descriptions have followed the example of the Worldcons with many attendees wearing costumes representing fictional characters. Some conventions feature costume competitions and other scheduled costuming events. Several well-known conventions that feature costuming include the San Diego Comic-Con International, New York Comic Con, and Atlanta's Dragon Con.


Cosplay (a blend of "costume" and "play" via the Japanese kosupure) was coined by Nobuyuki Takahashi in reporting on the 42nd World Science Fiction Convention for Japanese magazine My Anime. It is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes, wigs and fashion accessories to represent a specific character. Cosplay is popular at conventions across the world. An example of a major cosplay convention in the United States would be Anime Expo, held annually in Los Angeles, California.

Events and themes

There are many annual events that generate the chance to dress up in fancy dress costumes; Christmas, New Year, birthdays, Hen and Stag parties, and Book Day, amongst others.

Halloween is the most popular costume or fancy dress event of the year in western society. Halloween originated centuries ago, the Celts believed that on 31 October the line between the living and the dead became distorted, condemned souls would come back to wreak havoc for the night. In defense, the Celts would dress up in ghoulish costumes to scare evil spirits away.

Within many fancy dress events, a theme is usually present, and with fancy dress outfits often from Hollywood films such as Star Wars, Grease, James Bond, and Spider-Man. Themes are also extremely popular with fundraising events, such as the Great Gorilla Run, where 1,000 people dressed as gorillas in London in aid for Great Gorillas, a charity that focuses on the endangered species.

Some costume parties are themed around 80s fashion. The most popular costumes researched for such fancy dress are the Madonna Look, punk fashion and neon-colored clothing. Some of the easiest and cheapest 1980s costumes include Rambo, Samantha Fox, and Tom Cruise from Risky Business or Top Gun. Alternative eighties costumes include dresses, prom dresses and denim from the period, including high waisted pants and stone wash denim.

Fans sometimes attend sporting events in a costume as a sign of support of their favored team. Some sporting events have large numbers of fans attending in fancy dress costume. Examples include Wellington Rugby Sevens, where almost every fan who attends wears some sort of costume, and San Jose Bike Party, where each month's ride has a different theme encouraging riders to come in costume.

Additional Information

Halloween, contraction of All Hallows’ Eve, is a holiday observed on October 31, the evening before All Saints’ (or All Hallows’) Day. The celebration marks the day before the Western Christian feast of All Saints and initiates the season of Allhallowtide, which lasts three days and concludes with All Souls’ Day. In much of Europe and most of North America, observance of Halloween is largely nonreligious.

Halloween had its origins in the festival of Samhain among the Celts of ancient Britain and Ireland. On the day corresponding to November 1 on contemporary calendars, the new year was believed to begin. That date was considered the beginning of the winter period, the date on which the herds were returned from pasture and land tenures were renewed. During the Samhain festival the souls of those who had died were believed to return to visit their homes, and those who had died during the year were believed to journey to the otherworld. People set bonfires on hilltops for relighting their hearth fires for the winter and to frighten away evil spirits, and they sometimes wore masks and other disguises to avoid being recognized by the ghosts thought to be present. It was in those ways that beings such as witches, hobgoblins, fairies, and demons came to be associated with the day. The period was also thought to be favourable for divination on matters such as marriage, health, and death. When the Romans conquered the Celts in the 1st century CE, they added their own festivals of Feralia, commemorating the passing of the dead, and of Pomona, the goddess of the harvest.

In the 7th century CE Pope Boniface IV established All Saints’ Day, originally on May 13, and in the following century, perhaps in an effort to supplant the pagan holiday with a Christian observance, it was moved to November 1. The evening before All Saints’ Day became a holy, or hallowed, eve and thus Halloween. By the end of the Middle Ages, the secular and the sacred days had merged. The Reformation essentially put an end to the religious holiday among Protestants, although in Britain especially Halloween continued to be celebrated as a secular holiday. Along with other festivities, the celebration of Halloween was largely forbidden among the early American colonists, although in the 1800s there developed festivals that marked the harvest and incorporated elements of Halloween. When large numbers of immigrants, including the Irish, went to the United States beginning in the mid 19th century, they took their Halloween customs with them, and in the 20th century Halloween became one of the principal U.S. holidays, particularly among children.

As a secular holiday, Halloween has come to be associated with a number of activities. One is the practice of pulling usually harmless pranks. Celebrants wear masks and costumes for parties and for trick-or-treating, thought to have derived from the British practice of allowing the poor to beg for food, called “soul cakes.” Trick-or-treaters go from house to house with the threat that they will pull a trick if they do not receive a treat, usually candy. Halloween parties often include games such as bobbing for apples, perhaps derived from the Roman celebration of Pomona. Along with skeletons and black cats, the holiday has incorporated scary beings such as ghosts, witches, and vampires into the celebration. Another symbol is the jack-o’-lantern, a hollowed-out pumpkin, originally a turnip, carved into a demonic face and lit with a candle inside. Since the mid-20th century the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has attempted to make the collection of money for its programs a part of Halloween.


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.


#2 2023-08-10 21:08:57

From: Netherland
Registered: 2023-08-10
Posts: 1

Re: Halloween/Costume party

Happy Halloween 2023! Thanks for sharing the information and I must say interesting idea you had share. I got few ideas which anyone would appreciate so I am here to share it.



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