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Wearing mascot and holiday costumes is one of the best ways to celebrate almost any holiday, whether you are young or young at heart. Be Columbus in a school play. Join a 4th of July parade as the Statue of Liberty. At a church or temple, be an Easter bunny or Chanukah dreydl. Go to a Valentine's party as cupid or the Knave of Hearts (taken from the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland). Dress as a fortune teller or a birthday present for somebody's birthday celebration.
For ideas for holiday costumes for May, try dressing up as the Queen of the May for May Day. This is an ancient holiday where it became the custom in England to gather Hawthorn blossoms along country lanes early in the morning on the first day of May. The blossoms were used to crown a pretty young village girl Queen of the May. Or you can dress up as the Maypole, which were really large trees brought in from the forest. In the middle ages, English villages would compete with one another for the tallest Maypole. Dancing around the decorated Maypole was a popular custom. For June holiday costume ideas, dress as an American flag or Betsy Ross on Flag Day. She is thought of as our first American flag maker.
For ideas on historical costumes for September, dress as a Native American for American Indian Day, like Tecumseh or Sacagawea or Osceola. For ideas for holiday costumes for October, dress as Christopher Columbus, a sailor, queen Isabella or King Ferdinand (the only rulers who helped pay for Columbus' plan to sail to the West Indies) to celebrate Columbus Day.
For ideas on biblical and religious costumes in January, become a New Year's Day Janus, since the month of January gets its name from the Roman god of gates and doors, Janus. Janus was often shown with two faces, one lookng forward and one looking backward. Make a life-size mask of yourself on a piece of paper and place it around the back of your head, tying it with a piece of string or rubber band over your ears to keep it in place. Make a sandwich sign from color construction paper. Decorate both sides with streamers, balloons, scrap paper, foil or any other artsy materials you can find. Write a December calendar on one side and a January calendar on the other side and wear it around your body like a sandwich sign. For Martin Luther King's birthday, dress as Martin Luther King, Jr. For Chinese New Year, you and a friend could get a horse costume and decorate it with many different colors and materials to become the ceremonial Chinese New Year dragon. For ideas for holiday costumes in February, become a cupid or a Valetine's Day greeting card, or a Knave of Hearts (taken from the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, who said he "stole the tarts and took them clean away"). Dress as a Queen or King of Hearts by making a sandwich sign of a deck of playing cards. Become Abraham Lincoln to help celebrate Abraham Lincoln's birthday or become his wife Mary Todd Lincoln. Dress as George Washington or his wife Martha Washington to help celebrate George Washington's birthday.
For ideas for Easter costumes and holiday costumes for March, dress at a leprechaun or an Irish country lad (men) or an Irish country lass (women) for St. Patrick's Day. Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar, which falls sometime in February or March. The merrymaking and festive air of this holiday is even carried into the synagogue, where the Megillah (or Book of Ester) is read. This Biblical account describes how Queen Ester cleverly foiled the plot of Haman, a wicked minister to the King, to destroy all of the Jews of Persia. Dressing up as the main characters in the Queen Ester store is one of the customs of this holiday. For holiday costumes in the month of April, play an easy and quick April Fool's Day joke by wearing a bunny costume and carry a sign that says, "I'm an elephant." Dress up as Ackward Bay Erson Pay, an Easter Bunny or an Easter egg for Easter, a fruit tree or Mother or Father Nature to celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day, and of course, Johnny Appleseed on Arbor Day. According to legend, Johnny Appleseed wandered through the Ohio River Valley frontier planting apple seeds and seedling trees.
For historical costumes for November, disguise yourself as a Thanksgiving turkey with all of the trimmings, an Indian, or a pilgrim man or a pilgrim woman to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. For ideas for holiday costumes for December, dress in biblical costumes like Mary and Joseph and baby (or an adult) Jesus or a shepherd. Or become a traditional Santa's helper Elf, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, a Christmas tree, or reindeer. To celebrate Chanukah, become the Judah Maccabeus, a man who led a small group of Jewish men to a surprising victory over a large Syrian army trying to make the Temple of Jerusalem a temple for the Greek religion, and re-dedicated the Temple to the Jewish religion in the second century B.C. Or you may dress up as a Menorah or a dreydl (a 4-sided top used on Chanukah to play a game of chance).
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|