The spookiest festival in the world — Halloween — is here and youngsters, from school-going kids to young professionals, are getting the most out of the thrilling chills while making sure they stay safe and healthy.
Halloween, which can trace its roots to the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, has evolved over the centuries and transitioned from a religion-oriented event to a day of costume parties and playing scary but fun tricks on friends and neighbours.
Pumpkins are often part of rituals in India — a smashed white pumpkin on the road, smeared with vermillion, is a common sight. But at Halloween, it’s the yellow pumpkin that stars.
This year, pubs and cafes are cashing in on the scare fest which conveniently falls on the weekend. Judy Morris, digital creator and mother of six-year-old Riaan, has taken the trouble of making paper decorations and treats for Halloween. “Every year, in our colony, kids and teenagers dress up for Halloween and go from house to house for tricks or treats. But this time, due to COVID-19, we will dress up but celebrate a socially distant Halloween.” Talking of her preparations, she says “I have made some paper lanterns, pumpkin bags and tissue paper ghost chains to decorate my home and promote sustainable ornamentation. My son Riaan is excited to wear his recycled costume made from an old cape, and we will be doing some fun spooky makeup to get the party started on Halloween night.” Dr Saranya Jaikumar, Educational Psychologist and Director, Jeppiaar Cement, discusses the impact of Halloween on children. “Halloween allows kids to safely explore their fears,” she says. “They get to inhabit a character, let go of their inhibitions and celebrate what scares them. The act of dressing up as what they are afraid of allows them to grapple with their fears, and embrace them.” And it’s not only children who benefit from this spooky festival. “At times like this lockdown, a small Halloween celebration can be a great stress buster for the entire family,” she adds. There’s a larger and deeper benefit too — “Cultural diversity brings a collective strength that can benefit all of humanity,” Dr Saranya explains.