Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ready For Halloween?

When I was a little kid I loved Halloween (as kids do), in spite of the fact that I dressed up in the same bear costume for four years in a row.  That's because before I entered school, I didn't realize that kids changed costumes every year.  

My parents didn't bother to tell me.  They just dressed me up in the bear outfit, made a fuss, mocked excitement and pretended they didn't recognize me that year again!  So totally oblivious to the fact that trick-or-treaters changed themes, annually, I happily walked around my neighborhood, collecting candy, as the same, not-so-scary bear for four straight years.  

My parents got away with their omission until I came into day-to-day contact with other kids, and the jig was up.  

So this is what I want to know:  Were my parents (a) clever [saved time and money, extra points for recycling], or (bwily [took advantage of my youth and inexperience, plus played me like a fiddle!]?

According to National Geographic, Halloween dates back more than 2,000 years.  Europe's Celtic peoples celebrated their New Year's day, or Samhain on November 1.  On Samhain eve (October 31) it was believed that good and evil spirits roamed the earth on their way to the afterlife.  People wore disguises -- face masks and animal skins -- to fool the evil spirits, so the demons wouldn't possess them.  The early Celts also went from house to house, engaging in silly pranks, in exchange for food and drink.  And, they celebrated with bonfires and community pageants.

 As time went on, the Christian Church got involved and the eve of Samhain acquired a new name, “All Hallows' Eve,” later shorten to Halloween, the day before All Saints Day.  It continues to be observed on October 31, mostly in The UK, Ireland, the United States and Canada.
National Geographic reports that in 2010 the Average American will spend $66.28 on costumes, candy and decorations. [My 4 ideal places to find them are a corner drugstore, Target, thrift shops and a family attic.]  If you want to be original, or not, consider the following interesting lists:

Source: National Geographic
The Ten Most Popular Adults' Halloween 2010 Costumes are:
The Ten Most Popular Children's Halloween 2010 Costumes are: 
1. Witch
1. Princess
2. Vampire
2. Spider-Man
3. Pirate
3. Witch
4. Nurse
4. Pirate
5. Wench/Tart/Vixen
5. Disney Princess
6. Cat
6. Action/Super Hero
7. Zombie
7. Ghost
8. Fairy
8. Pumpkin/Vampire (Tie)
9. Athlete/Batman (Tie)
9. Batman
10. Dracula
10. Star Wars Character

I have a feeling, today's tots are a lot wiser than yours truly was years ago.  Happy Halloween, everyone.  Go ahead ... enjoy your favorite treats, or a good scary movie. Boo!

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  1. I heard the other day that the #1 costume this year is Snookie, from Jersey Shore!