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Fairy tales are children’s stories that include magical elements in imaginative settings. These stories are populated by characters known and loved generation after generation. Many fairy tales have been popularised by modern cartoon interpretations. When crafting a fairy tale Halloween costume, however, it can be fun to return to the original fairy tales for inspiration.
Little Red Riding Hood
The story of a little girl in danger as she goes to visit her grandmother offers a wealth of Halloween costume ideas. In addition to Little Red Riding Hood herself, there is also the character of the Big Bad Wolf. An amusing take on the Big Bad Wolf is to follow the story and dress the wolf in a grandmother-style nightgown, cap and glasses.
Hansel and Gretel
The story of two children who are abandoned in the woods and discover a house made of candy with a cannibal witch inside is Germanic in origin. For an authentic Hansel and Gretel costume, Hansel should be dressed in German short trousers and suspenders (lederhosen) and Gretel should wear a traditional German dress (a dirndl). Although the characters in the story are children, this costume can be cleverly worked for adults as well.
Between Cinderella herself, the ugly stepsisters, the evil stepmother, the fairy godmother and the prince, the often-adapted fairy tale Cinderella is rich in characters that can be used to create a Halloween costume. This is an appropriate choice when there is a couple or several people who want to coordinate costumes. The soot-covered Cinderella in rags is an option for those who want to avoid wearing a ball gown.
The Frog Prince
Popularised by the Brothers Grimm, the story of the frog prince can be used to create a charming and amusing costume. A full frog costume topped by a crown makes for a Halloween costume that is recognisable and distinctive. This costume also works well for babies or toddlers who need a simple, soft outfit.
The original tale of Snow White describes the young woman as having “skin white as snow, lips red as blood and hair black as ebony.” After narrowly escaping death, Snow White meets seven small men, who are unnamed in the Brothers Grimm version of the story. The dwarfs work as miners, which can be incorporated into a group costume. Another costume from Snow White is that of the queen. This costume can show the beautiful queen in rich robes or the Queen when she is disguised as a peddler woman, carrying poisoned apples.
- The Classic Fairy Tales: Norton Critical Edition; Maria Tater; 1999
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