Halloween 2017: Why Do People Wear Masks When Celebrating the Holiday?

REUTERS/David McNewRevellers celebrate in costume at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval in Los Angeles.

While Halloween is definitely not a celebration that is known for without people wearing scary masks or costumes, not so many people know why it is the case.

Halloween is always celebrated on October 31, and it falls on a Tuesday this year. While the day is a secular event that is not tied to any religion, it is believed that Halloween is an adaptation of the Celtic festival of Samhain, which was celebrated back then also beginning the last day of October.

"At its core, Samhain is the start of winter and of the new year in the old Celtic calendar. This is a time when the ancestors are honored, divinations for the new year are performed, and festivals are held in honor of the gods. It is a time of final harvest before the long winter ahead," Jason Pitzl, a Wiccan from Eugene, Oregon, told International Business Times back in 2014.

Samhain was celebrated in different ways, but the wearing of costumes and masks was one thing common in the celebration.The Celts back then hoped that, by wearing masks, the wandering spirits would assume that they, too, were spirits and leave them unharmed.

While Samhain has now evolved to what people know as Halloween, the practice of wearing masks and costumes has obviously remained, although mostly for the purpose of fun. However, unlike animal skins and heads that the Celts used as masks before, Halloween masks and costumes these days come in various forms, shapes, and materials.

Although some people still opt to wear scary masks or costumes, Halloween costumes these days can be in the form of non-horror movie and TV characters and even prominent personalities. In fact, according to a report, U.S president Donald Trump is still expected to be a popular Halloween costume this year, along with Wonder Woman and Pennywise from the "It" movie.