Of course, over the years, Halloween changed and has been adapted to make it a fun family event.
Carving pumpkins, scaring people, getting treats from homes, it’s time for those crazy Halloween parties once again! Celebrated on October 31 every year, Halloween is considered to be one of the spookiest times of the year and has really taken off in India. Earlier, only families that lived in the West knew about this festival but, now, with a rising number of expatriates and NRIs in Indian cities, things are rapidly changing.
Having roots that date back to almost 2,000 years ago, Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. It was believed that each year on October 31, the dead returned as ghosts. Of course, over the years, Halloween changed and has been adapted to make it a fun family event.
Today, it has evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, and costume-themed parties, feels Kristen Loehr, political-economic specialist, and Drew Giblin, public affairs officer, US Consulate. “For Halloween, we decorate the house with spider webs full of spiders, and other decor like bats, rats, and a talking crow. We decorate and carve pumpkins each year, and play games with neighbours and friends in some places. As a child, we always had a neighbourhood Halloween party at my house. My dad and us kids would decorate the house and yard with giant ghosts made of sheets in the trees, a life-size vampire asleep in a coffin, etc. We would narrate ghost stories and have creepy feel stations (for example, peeled grapes for eyes, spaghetti for guts, and raisins for witch warts). It was always a favourite holiday,” recalls Kristen with a smile. Interestingly, the ancient Celtic harvest festival has transcended time and geographical distance to find a place in this country.
Despite its dark and morbid traditions, Halloween is a favourite time of the year for many.