Students reflect on Halloween’s origin and past costumes

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What is Halloween, anyway?
Halloween is known for scary costumes, decorations, candy, and of course, the iconic “Trick or Treat,” but is that really all it’s about? Absolutely not. There is much more to learn about this seemingly surface-level holiday. Halloween is beloved by many, and children eagerly wait all year for this fun night of costumes and candy, but this was not always the case.
Not everyone knows the history of Halloween. However, many middle school students were willing to take some guesses at how it started.
Sixth-grader Larkin Farmer said, “Maybe people who were chimney sweeps came out, looking filthy, and maybe scary, and they went to ask for candy, money, or food.”
Anika Raghavan in grade 5 suggested that: “A pumpkin decided to sit itself in a person’s kitchen, and that person happened to be Pablo Picasso.” This 5th grade student approaches Halloween’s beginnings with an abundance of humor
Looking back at Halloween’s origin, the word comes from ‘All Hallows’ Eve,’ the night before ‘All Hallows’ Day,’ a Christian holiday dating from the 8th century. This takes place on October 31 and November 1 and is a time in which all of the church’s saints are remembered. Whilst these days Halloween is a non-religious holiday, some of the customs and traditions that took place back then remain today.
In ancient times, the holiday was marked by customs started by pagans, people who did not believe in one god, and they believed that on the last night of October, the spirits of the dead roamed the Earth. In order to scare them away, the pagans lit bonfires. Another tradition that helped mold Halloween into what it is today was the festival of Pomona (the goddess of fruits and gardens) in ancient Rome, which happened at the same time of year as Halloween. This festival may seem innocent, but its dark side is that, just like the pagans, the Romans thought ghosts and witches were wandering about. The big tree, the present-day Halloween, still has some of its original roots: the past.

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Cool Costumes
Costumes are a big part of Halloween. There is a wide variety, although usually, one theme overtakes the other costumes each year, depending on the most popular book, movie, TV show, etc., that year. For example, last year in Lower School, many people dressed up as Harry Potter characters. According to a survey, this year in the middle school there will be a wider variety of costumes than ever, with no specific theme being the most popular.
Some people can’t decide on their costumes, which is understandable. Because of that reason, another question on the survey was “Over your lifetime, what has been your favorite Halloween costume?” Some answers might help and inspire people who can’t decide:
Maggie Lawrence, Grade 7, said, “Harry Potter book.”
Alex Mackaay, Grade 5, said, “A lego joker.”
“I was a monkey when I was 1 year old.” Edie Fogler, Grade 5, said.
Annika Gilbert, Grade 8, said that she loved, “A bag of jelly beans when I was in fourth grade.”
Armaan Mundassery, Grade 6, said that his favorite costume was, “SpooderMan.”
And “Pippi long stockings in third grade,” was Gabby Sims’s, Grade 8, favorite.
These are just a few of many favorite costumes people have had over the years, and hopefully, they can be an inspiration for those stuck and who just can’t decide on the right costume for Halloween.

Halloween Challenge
This year trick-or-treating will hopefully return to normal, and a swarm of different costumes will cover London’s streets. Here’s a challenge for when you go trick-or-treating, to a fun costume party, or just walking about. Try and spot your favorite costume from the crowd. And when you do, don’t be shy; give a compliment, because sometimes, making someone else feel good is the best treat of all.

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