Halloween has a long history. Celebrated over 2,000 years ago by Celts as the new year on November 1, it was a commemoration of the end of the harvest and the long, cold winter days and nights ahead. Huge bonfires were made as sacrifices to the deities of the time and costumes made of animal heads and skins were worn to tell the tales of times and forecast future fortunes. The Romans, never a culture shy on commandeering other’s holidays, transformed the holiday of Samhain, where the ghosts of the dead returned to earth and put it next to All Saints Day in 609 AD to commemorate the dead continuing on to All Souls Day on November the 2nd. As the Irish immigrated to America in the middle of the 19th Century, they brought All Hallow’s Eve with them and Halloween became celebrated nationwide. In the early 20th century Halloween became an evening of parties and vandalism. By the 1950s Halloween became a celebration for children with trick-or-treating and buckets of candy. So much candy, that 25% of all the candy sold in the US, is sold just for Halloween.
In the 21st century, we find ourselves not letting children have all the fun. Adults dress up. Whole businesses dress up. Our optical community stepped up to the plate this year and we received permission to share some of the wonderful costumes individuals, practices and stores took of their Halloween.