31 October 2020 02:33
Halloween is just around the corner and will be celebrated in Europe and America on Saturday (October 31). Over the years, Halloween is celebrated worldwide and has become very popular in urban India. On this day, people dress in their scariest costumes which are believed to be inspired by folk customs and beliefs. Halloween or Hallowe'en is also known as Allhalloween which means All Hallow's Eve. Do you know the significance and fun facts related to Halloween? Also read 5 ideas for a memorable stay-at-home Halloween Halloween is an ancient Celtic festival celebrated on the last day of harvest in European countries and America.
The history of this spooky festival goes back more than 2,000 years. The day is also known as All Saints' Eve in some countries. Halloween is mostly celebrated by Western Christians and non-Christians where saints, martyrs, and faithful departed believers are remembered. They honor saints and pray for souls who have not yet reached heaven yet. The word 'Halloween' means 'hallowed evening' or 'holy evening' and is also referred to as 'All Saints Day'.
Over the years, people started lighting pumpkins thus becoming essential on Halloween. People also decorate their houses with scarecrows and corn husks. Halloween fun facts: People would light bonfires and wear unconventional costumes to ward off ghosts. For countries in the northern latitudes, the day marked the end of summer and the beginning of cold, dark winter when deaths and disease were common. These days, Halloween doesn't have the spookiness attached to it.
It is more about children getting into spooky costumes and asking for 'trick or treat'. The 'treat' is mostly some form of candy or chocolate that is given to children and 'trick' refers to a threat - usually an idle one - if something nice is not given. For the children of Ireland, the coronavirus has been the Grinch that cancelled trick or treating this year. When asked three weeks ago if trick-or-treating was feasible, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said it couldn't be "a normal Halloween". As a result of the pandemic, trick-or-treating has gone the way of many time-honoured activities which mark the seasons of the year. The topsy-turvy world we live in now means that the only people walking around with masks this weekend will be adults. Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has told the children of Ireland that it is a "very unique year" which must be the euphemism of the century and that they can help save lives by staying indoors and abiding by Level 5 restrictions. She appealed to young people not to light fireworks either as, inevitably, there will be accidents which will clog up emergency departments dealing with Covid-19. Nevertheless, families in Ireland have sought gamely to enter into the spirit of Halloween decorating their homes and gardens with skeletons, spider webs and bed sheets with eyes cut out of them. Lighted pumpkins in doorways will ensure that the Met Éireann's wind and rain warning will not be the only thing orange for Halloween. Spooky Google is reporting a 400 per cent increase in searches for Halloween games to play at home. The 11,000 members of Irish Girl Guides have prepared a Halloween Camp At Home with ideas for spooky games, crafts and activities. Participants can make a blanket fort under their kitchen table or pile up some cushions in the livingroom to make a makeshift shelter for the night. An Enchanted Fairy Trail has been unveiled in Dublin's Mountjoy Square Park as part of the Big Scream Halloween Community Festival which was launched in Dublin's northeast inner city. All the festivals taking place across Dublin from the Otherworld Festival in Ballymun, Fright Night in Finglas, Dockers and Demons in the city centre to the main Bram Stoker Festival, can be experienced online. The Big Scream, an inner-city Dublin celebration of Bram Stoker, will be happening free-of-charge on Zoom (bigscream.ie), while for bigger kids, Wicklow's Historic Gaol at Kilmantin Hill is planning a number of virtual reality tours this year (wicklowshistoricgaol.com). Derry, which traditionally hosts one of the most dynamic Halloween festivals in the world, has moved it online to derryhalloween.com. Even while festivities are cancelled at home, Tourism Ireland will be marketing the country abroad as the "Home of Halloween". Not only did the ancient Celts invent the festival of Samhain, but Bran Stoker wrote Dracula. The morning of Halloween will come in stormy and wet, but it should clear by the evening. There will be a full moon at Halloween for the first time since 1955. It's also the second full moon of the month, known as a blue moon. The next blue moon at Halloween will not be for another 19 years, hence the origins of the phrase. Halloween 2020 will be one to remember! Much has changed, but the love for fun and fright is as strong as ever. This year, Halloween falls on a Saturday and will showcase a spooky full moon. Enjoy the day, celebrate together with family activities, and don't forget you can wear your costume all day. Visit our website at for spooky kids in the kitchen cooking information, recipes and a fun video from Extension Educators Susan Glassman and Beth Dellatori. Have fun making recipes for scary spiders, pumpkin face quesadillas and orange pumpkins and banana ghosts. One father is taking Halloween to the next level, combining virtual Zoom meetings with classic, spooky creatures in an epic costume of the year. Forty-two-year-old Greg Dietzenbach from Marion, Iowa has been crafting unique costumes for his two children every Halloween. With the coronavirus pandemic, Dietzenbach wanted to continue the tradition while respecting these current unprecedented times. The idea, he says, was inspired by remote learning. "Social distancing has made my kids Zoom experts. It's how they attended school and see family and friends," Dietzenbach said to NBC New York in a recent interview. His 12-year-old daughter, Ada Dietzenbach, loved the idea, and the dynamic duo quickly jumped on the planning process. With an extensive background in graphic design, this father used his Adobe Illustrator skills as a creative director to build individual 'scream Zoom screens'. "Fortunately, I work for a company that builds corporate environments and museums, so I had a large format printer at my disposal," shared Dietzenbach. Recreating the video chat experience, this dad took every scary detail into account. "I recreated the Zoom interface, adding subtle jokes like 666 Participants. I changed 'End Meeting for All' to 'End Life'," the Dad shared. Every monster on the costume was Ada transformed into character – each taking 1.5 hours to design. It even includes a live screen using an iPad so everyone can join in the fun. Click here to check out more of Dietzenbach's elaborate costume designs, including a "Rock 'em, Sock 'em Transformer" and "BB-8" from Star Wars.