This Halloween, as you think through your Halloween makeup ideas and brilliant costumes, have you ever paused to wonder why dressing up for Halloween is so popular?
We all know the tradition of Halloween. The Celts in Ireland believed that on October 31st, the last day of the year, the boundary to the netherworld of demons and spirits would be opened. To protect themselves, people disguised themselves as spirits, one of the supernatural beings of the night.
This tradition was brought to America in the 1800s, and has since then been heavily commercialized and updated for the times. Now we see the latest characters from TV or movies walking the streets after dark on Halloween. But why has this festival’s popularity endured so well over the years?
Think back to your childhood Halloween. The thrill of putting on Halloween makeup and going with your friends, their scary Halloween faces shining in the lamplight, being someone else.
This is the one day of the year that adults get to indulge that fantasy of being someone they are not. Their alter-ego if you like. Is it the darker parts of our psyches that are brought to light in Halloween?
On one level it seems absurd. What would make an attractive woman smear fake blood from a rusty nail in her skull, an attractive guy skulk behind a Hulk mask? Shunning the way we normally present our appearance to the world, who does not enjoy being made up to look revolting, or scary, or terrifying or ghoulish? Why do we do that? It seems absurd on one level.