The origins of Halloween go back in time to the dank, dark, misty world of the Celts of Scotland and Ireland. The festival of Samhain marked the end of the harvest period and the beginning of the long days of winter .On that day, October 31 the ancient Celts believed the veil that separated the two worlds became thin allowing the dead to come through and cause all sorts of havoc among the living. To avert trouble they lit bonfires and to keep away and confuse the spirits or as some say to placate them, they dressed up in scary, evil spirit type costumes and masks.
Down the centuries the tradition has evolved and changed and nowadays, whether you are a child or an adult, it has become a great excuse to get dressed up and be someone else for the night. In these cash strapped times, abandoning of our everyday personas into someone more exciting ,colourful attractive scary or just plain weird never seemed more attractive, as Part Mart owner Steve Garden says “Halloween is all about having fun and getting the chance to dress up differently and have a party and forget about the problems of the day .”
Picking your alter ego can be tricky; certainly with kids it can involve changing their minds about twenty times before hitting on the one. Stephanie Romano is in the forefront of the Halloween milieu at Party Mart and she says that this year , for the boys any type of action heroes are winning hands down, while for little girls are the pretty sparkly outfits such as princess and fairies are the favoured choice.
Costumes nowadays owe less to meandering malevolent evil spirits and more to the vagaries of popular entertainment.
Horror films still have a strong influence but trends which are strongly predicted on the Halloween circuit this year are:
* The top selling mask is a Bernard Madoff mask. They have been selling out in the U.S
* Mr and Mrs Obama masks are also a hot favourite.
* Micheal Myers in any of his incarnations
* Any kind of Sci- fi character especially influenced by the new film Star Trek.
* As Stephanie mentioned any type of Superheroes
* Also super villains. A Heath Ledger Joker anyone?
* Anything at all from 80s era including Farah Fawcett lookalikes
* Also expect a plethora of different era Michael Jacksons
* Glow people – like the sticks except the whole costumes that glow in the dark.
* Vampires for both women and men inspired by the plethora of Vampire TV programmes about at the moment
* Zombies – endless replays of Thriller brought back the memories and there is further Zombie inspiration behind the cult song Re Your Brains by Jonathan featuring a zombie who wants to eat his co-workers brains!