Sly does it. Tiptoe catspaws. Slide and creep.
But why? What for? How? Who? When! Where did it all begin?
“You don’t know, do you?” asks Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud climbing out of the pile of leaves under the Halloween Tree. “You don’t really know!”
—Ray Bradbury, The Halloween Tree=
This student, more than anyone I saw today, really grabbed me as a member of the Blue Man Group.
Ah, it’s a chilly day in Southern California and our school had its annual Halloween parade, an outdoor concert, and candy and punch. Now, bear in mind that I am 69-years-old, but we definitely had a Halloween parade when I was in school, too, only in those days, costumes were home-made, or you just put together an outfit from whatever was around the house. It was probably the most exciting day of the entire school year. We trick or treated in my small hometown, so I was surprised to read at Wikipedia that the tradition of trick or treating actually began in North America in the 1950s. Kids and grownups costumes these days are really a major big deal.
The origins of what we call Halloween began with Samhain, in Celtic times, also known as All Hallows. All Hallow’s Eve. Hallow E’en. Mike Nichols at one of the UCC sites has a good description for anyone who may not be familiar with the origins.
This is Christy, one of our elementary school art teachers, dressed up as a Picasso painting.
My school has kids from kindergarten through twelfth grade, and many of the older students dress up, too, just for the heck of it, I guess. Most of the teachers and many of the parents also dress up.
My dad, who was born in 1898 and lived in rural Michigan, liked to tell the story of disassembling someone's buggy with his buddies and reassembling it on a neighboring farmer's roof. My all-time favorite costumes, which I made originally for my husband and I, were two big paper mache Charlie and Lucy heads. My kids wore them off and on during at Halloween and still talk about that to this day.
When my own three children were growing up in the 1960s et al, neighborhood trick or treating was a really big thing. It was common to have hundreds of kids come to the door. I have lived in a townhouse complex since 1988 and never once have I had a trick or treater, though I can hear them on the street.
Don't we all want to be someone we're not? Don't we all have multiple inner layers or archetypes to show off, if we had the courage? Isn't all theater about portraying someone else? I-Mockery says, A child's (and for the purpose of this article, I think we'll define the word 'child' very loosely) Halloween costume is a window on their soul. More than simple wish fulfillment, the choice combines with the annual cultural zeitgeist, becoming a vast, ever changing, kaleidoscopic tarot that to the trained eye reveals more about the child beneath the mask than even they may know.
Charla, the elementary school choral director, always dressed whimsically. Also my friend and fellow-journalkeeper, Charla is my role model for alter-egos because she loves to be outrageous. And needless to say, the kids she teaches absolutely adore her.