Kylie Jenner's new collection for Kylie Cosmetics in the Halloween spiritINSTAGRAM / @KYLIEJENNER

The club night we’ve all been waiting for is coming up. To hell with the cultural holiday, I want my hot girl Halloween moment. Yes, Halloween is upon us. The cold nights are, now, all worth it. Naturally, I started thinking about what to wear for this momentous occasion in summer. I needed something easy, cheap and that can withstand the clubbing environment. However, it always feels a bit ‘Groundhog Day’ thinking about the Halloween options. Every year is the same dilemma, and heaven forbid we dig up last year’s costume. So, as a fun detour, I thought to go back to the roots of the holiday in the hope it would provide some inspiration.

Social media floods us with a tirade of costume ideasINSTAGRAM / @LISA.MANCINERH

Halloween goes back 2,000 years to the Celtic festival of Samhain, when it marked the beginning of winter. As winter was often deadly in these times, it was believed that, on the night before the new year, the boundary between the living and the dead became blurred. In particular, on October 31st, the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. The presence of ghosts made it easier for the Celtic priests to make predictions on the future and so they gathered to sacrifice crops and animals, wearing costumes of animal heads and skins.

“It was only when the holiday was adopted by gay communities, however, that it truly flourished as a holiday of extravagance at its finest”

Fast-forward to 1000 AD and the church created All Souls’ Day to commemorate the dead, widely believed to have been created to replace Samhain with a church-related day. This was celebrated with bonfires, parades and people dressing up as saints, angels, and devils. From this day we get the word Halloween, from All-Hallows or All-Hallowmas (another name for All Souls’ Day, originating in the middle English Alholowmesse, and meaning All Saints Day).

Before long, Halloween had caught on in America, and trick-or-treating began, as did the all-important Halloween parties. However, up until the second half of the 20th century, it was still firmly a morbid day of the dead. People wore frightening costumes made out of whatever was on hand. But, with this morbid holiday came lots of criminal damage and, in a bid to stop this, it became ‘Conservation Day’. This didn’t last long. Once the link to the dead had been loosened, and with TV bringing pop culture representations of Halloween into the home, we saw less and less frightening costumes. Instead, there were super heroes, celebrities or cartoon characters.

'Halloween has been transformed by the LGBT community'INSTAGRAM / @TRIXIEMATTEL

It was only when the holiday was adopted by gay communities, however, that it truly flourished as a holiday of extravagance at its finest. Outfits became over-the-top and provocative. We see now countless sexy cats, cowgirls, fairies and more. Halloween has been transformed by the LGBT community. As a community that has often had to hide their authentic selves from society, Halloween presents one night of the year where you can dress as extravagantly as you like in the most out-there attire: a celebration of expression that everyone takes part in.

The holiday has exchanged hands countless times, and each time it seems to reflect new elements of the current society. For the Celts, it represented the celebration of the dead at a more dangerous time of year. When it became All Souls’ Day, it represented the power of the church to become involved in public holidays. So, what does it represent now? The liberation of how we dress?


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At this point, my Halloween costume search has taken a twist. I didn’t quite sign up for societal ponderings. However, I do believe that Halloween is a refuge for extravagance. It provides us with a night of wearing what we never normally would. At the very start of the winter months, the night lights up with all things tacky and beautiful.

So, what indeed, shall I be wearing for Halloween? I will try all I can to avoid buying a suspiciously cheap costume I will only wear for one night. But, beyond this, the sky’s the limit. I will wear the most over-the-top outfit I can find and celebrate a night of pure extravagance.