Happy Halloween folks, where dressing up as your favorite characters is culturally mainstream and you get candy for it!
(This year’s costume is my favorite Slayer, Buffy Summers.)
Tons of people do this other days of the year too, though. Growing up, I’ve seen a few events that merit dressing up for fun. The first, for those who don’t know, is cosplay (costume+play). It’s a fun hobby/obsession/career where people make/buy costumes of their favorite characters and wear them for public consumption. It’s become a very widespread subculture, mostly at comic/sci-fi/fantasy/pop culture conventions.
People get really involved with this stuff.
There’s also Renaissance Fairs/Festivals. They’re a celebration of all things fantasy, a mish mash of subcultures (steampunk, medieval, fantasy, scifi, alternate history, etc.) with sets pulled out of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I’ve seen fairies, pirates, wenches, Kings and Queens, Lords and Ladies, knights and dragons, even a Star Trek crew and a Doctor or two. Those things are a fun mess of everything, much like conventions, but outside. Check out your local area, odds are they’ll have one.
The last one I did when I was really young, grew up in it. It’s called the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronisms). Unlike Cons and Renfests, this organization hosts weekend long events where people come, camp, and reenact the best parts of medieval history! My mom sewed everything I wore, everything she wore, and everything my dad wore. She was meticulous with what kind of fabrics and patterns she used (no elastic or zippers). I still have some of the costumes she made me, and wear the ones that fit! Authenticity is essential and it’s a great hobby for anyone who sews, fences, smiths or just likes to camp in full garb. If you’re interested in learning new skills and go frequently enough, you can even pick up a new trade.
These were just a few of my costumed adventures. What are your experiences? Even better, what’s your Halloween look like?