I don't really understand Halloween in the US.......

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I don't really understand Halloween in the US.......

Postby FranTastic444 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:03 pm

In the UK, wearing what we would call "fancy dress" to a Halloween party would normally involve donning something suitably ghoulish, supernatural or 'scary'. Ghost, witch, devil, vampire, werewolf, skeleton, zombie, mummy etc. etc. etc.

The same does not appear to hold true here in the US. Marge / Homer Simpson, a 'superhero' such as Wonder Woman, Captain America, Superman - all seem to be fair game. Is this a new thing, or has it always been thus?

There is an outside chance that I might get invited to a Halloween party this year. What skirting-related Halloween outfits have you guys gone for in years gone by??
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Re: I don't really understand Halloween in the US.......

Postby Fred in Skirts » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:37 pm

FranTastic444 wrote:In the UK, wearing what we would call "fancy dress" to a Halloween party would normally involve donning something suitably ghoulish, supernatural or 'scary'. Ghost, witch, devil, vampire, werewolf, skeleton, zombie, mummy etc. etc. etc.

The same does not appear to hold true here in the US. Marge / Homer Simpson, a 'superhero' such as Wonder Woman, Captain America, Superman - all seem to be fair game. Is this a new thing, or has it always been thus?

There is an outside chance that I might get invited to a Halloween party this year. What skirting-related Halloween outfits have you guys gone for in years gone by??


When I was younger but in my adultery I would dress up in scary costumes as well as the super hero types of costumes. Most of the people who went to the same parties as I did wore scary types. I have also gone to them in star Wars costumes. It is just the passing of the times and what is new and unusual.

As for what costume to wear try the Dracula or the Frankenstein costumes or for skirted try to go for the Wonder Woman, little Bo Peep, or even little miss Muffet costumes.

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Re: I don't really understand Halloween in the US.......

Postby moonshadow » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:21 am

Some time ago the history channel (back when it was about history) did a neat little documentary on Halloween in the U.S. If I look hard enough, I may still have it recorded on VHS somewhere. It explains our curious Halloween customs pretty well, from the party-hearty adult parties, to the ultra-religious "clean" gatherings (in honor of the harvest) and everything in between.

I think this might be it: https://youtu.be/hKimIHT1Y4E

I always liked Halloween, not so much for the holiday itself (believe it or not, I generally don't like dressing up and wearing makeup), but it seemed as though it was the "official start" of the holiday season. Around Oct 31 the leaves are pretty much fully changed. After it's come and gone, before you know it, it's Thanksgiving, then Christmas.

Incidentally, we were invited by our local vets office to the annual Halloween party they throw every year. I assume you dress your pet up in something and come by. As I stood there in my floral skirt, she said "now you have to dress up!"

I looked down at my skirt, and back up at her, and replied "How can I top this?... perhaps I should just dress normal and freak everyone out!"

She busted out laughing. :lol:
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Re: I don't really understand Halloween in the US.......

Postby Kirbstone » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:45 am

In my childhood, Halloween evening after dark was when children blacked their faces with burnt cork or similar and called round to neighbouring houses. They were 'The Pooka' (don't ask me the origin of that name) and they sang a song or did a recitation for sweets or other simple reward.

In recent years, Imported from America I understand, has come the 'Trick or Treat'. which is similar, but with menaces, and those who do not reward risk having practical jokes played on them. Also, the commercial exploitation has gotten out of hand, with ghosts/horror-related junk sold everywhere now.

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Re: I don't really understand Halloween in the US.......

Postby Caultron » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:10 am

At one time, yes, Halloween revelers in the US dressed like ghosts, goblins, gargoyles, demons, and so forth.

But nowadays, people dress up as almost anything.

So it's the best day there is for men hesitating to wear skirts.
Courage, conviction, nerve, verve, dash, panache, guts, nuts, balls, gall, élan, stones, whatever. Get some and get skirted.

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Re: I don't really understand Halloween in the US.......

Postby FranTastic444 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:43 pm

Thanks for the link, Moon - I'll check it out.

"So it's the best day there is for men hesitating to wear skirts." Carl - I wrote the post in part because of an article I read a while back about the different forms of crossdressing. One of the 'types' listed was the male who dressed as a female character for Halloween, but this was the only time of the year that they wore clothes from the other side of the aisle.
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Re: I don't really understand Halloween in the US.......

Postby crfriend » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:09 pm

FranTastic444 wrote:[...] I wrote the post in part because of an article I read a while back about the different forms of crossdressing. One of the 'types' listed was the male who dressed as a female character for Halloween, but this was the only time of the year that they wore clothes from the other side of the aisle.

Insofar as much of what goes on at Halloween in the US is quite unstructured and even "free form", pretty much anything goes, and this means that once a year the adventurous may dare put on a skirt instead of jeans or Dockers. One day out of 365 1/4 (roughly) is better than zero.

Generally speaking, on the date itself I tend to show up as straight-laced as possible thereby throwing everybody who knows me off. This year it falls on a Wednesday, perhaps the most boring day of the week. Perhaps I'll do something over the top at work, but then again, perhaps not. I could be the wise-guy, and show up in trousers for no good reason and say, "This is the one day of the year that we're supposed to be somebody we're not!" I guess I need to buy a suit.
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Re: I don't really understand Halloween in the US.......

Postby skirtyscot » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:17 pm

When I was young, Hallowe'en meant going guising. You wore fancy dress and you went round the neighbourhood. At each house you visited, you performed your party piece and received some goodies for your efforts. Sweets, monkey nuts, apples. If you were really lucky you might get some money - a few pence.

Your costume could be anything, no need to be spooky. "Guising" is simply "disguising". Nowadays it's all black orange and supposedly scary, so we seem to have gone the opposite way to all you Yanks. At least the American demanding money with menaces hasn't caught on round my way.
Keep on skirting,

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Re: I don't really understand Halloween in the US.......

Postby beachlion » Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:00 am

When I grew up in the Netherlands, there was no such thing as Halloween. In the Catholic south of the country they celebrated St Maarten (St Martin) in about the same period.
If the Dutch smell money, they go the extra mile. The commerce pushed Valentine's Day through the throats of the people with some succes and now they are doing the same with Halloween.

When I came to the USA, it was something new for me. I had heard of it but now I was in the middle of it. For some reason I can not make it mine, I always will see it as some folklore of foreign people.
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Re: I don't really understand Halloween in the US.......

Postby Big and Bashful » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:27 pm

I saw a documentary a few days ago about Halloween, much to my surprise the documentarists said that the trick or treat thingy is not originally imported from the US of A, the origins of Trick or Treatery are actually from the Scottish practice of guising, which is more or less the same thing.
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Re: I don't really understand Halloween in the US.......

Postby weeladdie18 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:28 am

Speaking from the U.K. , .... I do not remember Trick or Treat when I was a Kid. ......They say this event came from America
The big half term holiday fun was the Penny for the Guy .....Building the November 5 bonfire ,...... burning the Guy
and having a firework party with sparklers ,bangers and rockets.

As far as I can remember 30 October ( ? ) was traditionally All Saints Day...., a candle was traditionally lit in the Church
for the " Faithful Departed " ...old family and friends.......

The Dorset Weather usually turned wet or clear and frosty for November 5..........Still good fun for big kids like us
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Re: I don't really understand Halloween in the US.......

Postby FranTastic444 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:08 pm

Tried to watch the docu a couple of times, but all my spare time lately seems to go on watching pesky baseball games (Go Sox!!!)

If I were to go to a Halloween party, wearing something like this would be really cool :-)

Image
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Re: I don't really understand Halloween in the US.......

Postby Ralph » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:42 pm

It's not a new trend. When I was a wee lad circa 1965, there was already a dichotomy of kids who carried on the tradition of All Hallow's Eve to put on a frightening spectacle vs. those who just saw it as an opportunity to wear costumes and act out of character. So even back then you'd have witches and ghosts alongside clowns and ballerinas.

The only change I've seen in 60 years is that back then, all costumes -- scary or silly -- were homemade, and now nearly everyone just buys something off the rack from the store. Cheap plastic cartoon character masks, thin fabric that you'll be lucky if it lasts the night without tearing, 117 identical Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles... a complete dearth of imagination.
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Re: I don't really understand Halloween in the US.......

Postby moonshadow » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:19 pm

I'm not really sure what we'll get into this year. Halloween in Lebanon Virginia seems to be somewhat of a dud. When I rode around last year, it seemed there were very few houses with lights on, and not much seemed to be happening in the community. I figure it's due to the Apostolic/Pentecostal nature of this region, and with Halloween being associated with "the Devils holiday".

In every house we've ever lived in, trick-or-treaters were few in number. Our first year in Damascus resulted in one trick-or-treater. So that was the last year. Pulaski was the same way, our house just wasn't located in a neighborhood that was welcoming to trick-or-treaters. Last year, our first year in Lebanon, I decided not to buy candy and leave the light out and see what happened. As suspected the neighborhood was dead.

If it weren't a work night, we might have traveled to a region where people know how to have a little fun, but as it's a work night, and 6AM comes early, we'll probably just stay home.

Pulaski always put on a good Halloween with their "Treat Trail", where area businesses would hand out candy.

Incidentally, about a year ago I wore this outfit (below) to Bristol for no apparent reason. I dare say I got more comments and questions, and stares in one day then I do in a year of skirt wearing. Ironically, this isn't a "female" outfit, not considered crossdressing, not feminine in the slightest, and though not exactly the same, it is similar to what some might have worn from the days of Christ, through the dark ages....

Image
Sometimes I consider doing like Ron does and wearing these all of the time. Why?... well... why not??

But for the more "normal" Moon Shadow looks, and a little less jarring on the public that is accustomed to seeing crossdressers and other gender-benders in pop culture, there is this:
Image

Honestly, people seemed to enjoy this one better. No weird looks, and A LOT of friendly ribbing. Generally, this one was the more fun of the two.

Curious, a man wearing a "women's" skirt, shirt, and shoes, is more socially accepted than a religious robe... very curious indeed.....
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Re: I don't really understand Halloween in the US.......

Postby weeladdie18 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:49 am

Like the outfits Moon...some folks would die for a pair of green sox.

Going back to my comment on All Saints Day 30 October ( ? ) a religious day to light a candle for the " Souls of the Faithfull Departed ".....
In september I met a lady in the street who was in her fifties and dressed in black like a witch. She claimed she was a widow and
subsequently dressed as a white witch. ...She remarked on my attire being unusual , and gave me her blessing.

As late as the fifties I remember widows dressed in black with tall hats.....there does seem to be a historical confusion between
the wicked witch on her broomstick , with her black cat for good luck and the black costume of the widow.

Perhaps this idea of giving ones friends a blessing goes back to John Wesley and his preachings.

Please note this post is relative to Sociology and not to religious beliefs. ......................... weeladdie
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