Halloween Crosses the Ocean
When European settlers established colonies in North America, they brought Halloween traditions with them. Historians speculate this included souling, guising (putting on a costume) and mumming (putting on a short, entertaining performance while in that costume). Puritan New Englanders weren’t likely to celebrate Halloween due to their somber religious practices. But the English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh immigrants in Maryland and the southern colonies continued their Celtic Halloween festivities. Halloween was a time for “play parties” and costumed revelry. Costumes were creative homemade designs using things found around the house, from sheets to muslin, to face paint. Chiuldren pieced together costumes without using patterns. They put together their All Hallow’s Eve costumes without worrying about perfection, a tradition maintained until machine-produced costumes entered the picture in the early 1900s. But prior to modern times, costumes were imperfect yet delightful, like the vintage costume from the early 1900s pictured above.