special feature

The October affair called Halloween

Candy stores around the world have one Modus Operandi as soon as October rolls out — prepare for Halloween. Concerns for cavities and nutrition go out the window, for this one day (rather one evening) only. Costumes, spooky decorations, and all that is scary on the silver and small screen — everything is rolled into a jam packed day of scare fest!

The Halloween festivities of today, with its origins in Celtic rites and rituals, his carried on with ‘trick or treat-ing,’ wearing costumes and masks, carving a pumpkin, and many more practices. What’s even more interesting is how much US based television programmes have influenced our understanding of this particular day.

Over the last half decade or so, rather than the children, it’s the adults and parents who are more invested in their celebrations of Halloween. From detailed costumes to a minimalistic touch of face paint or makeup, just about anyone can be a part of All Hallows’ Eve.

It’s not just the USA, and British Isles where this type of festivities take place. Take for instance, El Día de los Muertos (the day of the dead) celebrated in Mexico. This is a three-day celebration of remembering late family members, which begins on 31 October and ends on 2 November.

Then there is the Obon festival in Japan, held either mid-week of July or August, with a similar context to the Mexican festivities. While American-style Halloween has carved out a memorable place in most countries, every one of them has added their own celebrations to it.

Of course, let’s not forget how much various companies have taken the chance to capitalise on this day. According to the National Retail Federation in the US, in 2019, more than 170 million Americans will be celebrating Halloween. As part of this celebration, the related sales, including buying candy, decorations and costumes, is expected to reach US $ 9.7 billion.

While such numbers are not readily available for the local celebrations, preparations are visible. From hotels gearing up for the event, to gatherings being announced over social media, the vibe of Halloween is already in the air!

Often identified as one of the world’s oldest holidays, Halloween itself was a harvest festival at heart. The myths and legends have been explored over the centuries, and out of those, the filtered remains still continue to inspire the generations for a day to break the mould of everyday life.


Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Model:  Itmam

Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha

Face paint: Raisa Naushin


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