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Everybody loves it because there’s no better way to get rid of stress than to scare it off by throwing a good Halloween costume party. All you need to do is to find a bunch of good old friends and using the craziest and silliest costumes create a unique light-hearted atmosphere of a themed night. And yes, it’s gonna end up with at least a couple of embarrassing pics on the Facebook tomorrow but that’s well worth it.
Fancy dress parties have a long history of success coming all the way from medieval carnivals and masquerade balls. In the beginning, it was the prerogative of the noble and rich, who were wearing masks and costumes. Today, fancy dress parties are held in many countries of the world and you don’t need a particular excuse to start one. The reason can be anything: from a classic event such as Halloween, Christmas or just somebody’s Birthday party or a Stag night.
Back in the old days, people’s schedules were kind of not so flexible. Probably the most famous occasion was the Carnival of Venice, which is largely considered to be the oldest one of its kind – it was held for the first time in the XII century and is still arranged annually with the next festival planned to take place in February next year. The main events usually take place at San Marco’s square where people come together wearing all sorts of masks and costumes, both traditional and modern.
Nowadays, costume parties are most closely associated with the Halloween traditions. They come from medieval festivals in Ireland and Britain, and were brought to America by immigrants in the beginning of the XX century. Celebrated on October 31st, Halloween customs include trick-or-treating, wearing spooky costumes, carving the scary jack-o-lanterns from pumpkin and many more.
Halloween costumes have a history of their own. The main theme of the festival was horror and the outfits had to go accordingly. Terror-inspiring and nightmarish costumes were a treat back in the days – their holders looked as if they broke through their way out of hell, and it is not like you have an option but to reward them with a candy for that. When the “Sexual Liberation” arrived in the 60s-80s decades, the costume appearance emphasis has shifted to clearly sexier gears.
Minimalistic Indian squaw dresses that actually showed more body parts than hided, superheroes with an ever-prolific body, a sexy nurse or a firefighter uniform became popular with younger generations. As to the 90s, that went on bringing even more open-mindedness by the stars of the “Girl Power!” movement and the Monica Lewinsky’s little blue dress scandal, it all but confirmed the mainstream eagerness to wear hot outfits at this once in a year occasion when almost everything is allowed.
Today, the choice of costume for Halloween or similar occasions became more liberal, as our multicultural society mixes traditions adding the new scents to the bouquet. Old school horror costumes go well together with superheroes and classical bible characters blend with video game villains – people like to look funny but at the same time to be original, memorable and creative.
Another grand thing about coming to a fancy dress bash is a surreal feeling of being comfortable while looking ridiculous! Everyday we’re trying ever so hard to look perfect, doing our best not to commit a fashion mistake or show a bad taste. Then, on a night like this, you suddenly turn up dressed in a costume of an abominable Snowman and it goes pretty well, giving you the feeling that you’re not in Kansas anymore.
Throw off your usual solemnity, and while the confidence is booming, shyness is gone, the laughs and conversations are flowing, fill it up with the unique spirit of costume party that entangles everyone in.