Fooling the gods on Samhain
Some Samhain-celebrating Celts sported costumes, usually animal skins and heads from beasts sacrificed to appease the gods. These costumes intended to trick the visiting gods into thinking they were also one of them, or to hide their identity from those gods (perhaps partaking in the treats left out for the gods, too). Celts bounded about in these disguises, playing pranks on unsuspecting neighbors. Surely none of their neighbors would recognize them under such clever disguises! Halloween historian Lesley Bannatyne tells CNN, “Masks and cover-ups came to be seen as means to get away with things. That’s continued throughout Halloween’s evolution.” Costumes and festive pranks became a common thread throughout Samhain tradition, but would evolve into a much bigger, and more commercial, Halloween celebration.