By ena ganguly
Happy October! This is one of my favorite months. Not only does the weather turn cooler (but not too cold, I’m a Texan, remember?!), but fall festivities begin! One of my favorite days to celebrate, which honestly should be a national holiday, is Halloween.
Like many other cultures who have their own calendars marking harvest time, seeding time, and the end of the year, some time ago the Celts ended their year on October 31st, naming it Samhain, the day where the curtain between the living and the dead is thin and the dead can cross into the world of the living for some time. Spoopy right?!
Samhain was a day dedicated to building bonfires, dressing up in costumes (to keep away the ghosts of course), and reading fortunes. The celebration of Halloween was popularized in America because of settler colonialism and the immigration of white people from Ireland, Scotland, and Britain.
Many people now participate in Halloween as a commercial sort of celebration, with no real religious or spiritual ties to the day, other than maybe those who still consider themselves in the lineage of the Celts.
So about this year’s Halloween…I have good and bad news. The good news is that it is on a Saturday this year so we can celebrate all weekend long! The bad news is that one of the biggest scares of the year, COVID-19, will be out and about, trick or treating and getting rowdy in bars along with any child, adult, and elder who dares to participate in the cobweb-y merriments of Halloween 2020.
To curb some of the risks of getting sick this Halloween, here are some tips (or tricks?) I have for you this year:
I know this is basic but really…stay inside. If you want to celebrate Halloween, put on your jammies, make some comforting food and a cup of hot chocolate, and put on your favorite cult scares. Make a day of watching movies, chilling and relaxing. You can still pull pranks on your loved ones if that’s what you’re into, you just have to get a little more creative this year with those who you are not living with right now (phone pranks anyone?).
Consider making any of your favorite drinks that you usually enjoy at bars or restaurants at home! It’s cheaper and you can control how much of different ingredients you want to put in. Another thing you can do to really get into the Halloween spirit is to bake some cookies, cakes, or other goodies and share with your neighbors and people you live with.
Instead of scaring the living daylights of any kids coming by to trick or treat like you usually do, consider just leaving a treat outside your door. Remember when you used to go out to trick and treat and there was always that one house that didn’t open the door, the lights were out, and there was a big plastic orange pumpkin smiling at you from their front porch with a sign that says, “Take Only One, Please!” Be that neighbor this year.
Leave a bowl of candy for folks to take as they come by your door. If you do decide to do the old answer-the-door-and-hand-out-goodies this year, wear a mask and sanitize your hands before and after giving out the candies.
Make a Game Indoors
If you’re someone who has kids or just bored adults, consider making Halloween a game night where you play Monopoly, Uno, with a deck of cards, and so on. Winners get candy! For non-alcoholic drinkers, you can also make a game out of eating a piece of candy every time you scream while watching a scary movie.
As a last suggestion, if you know there are other families in the area who have been strictly adhering to safety protocols, consider bringing your kids to play with their kids outside, while you enjoy a drink and some snacks with the adults. This way the kids get some time in their costumes with their friends, and you can enjoy some much needed adult time.
What are some ways you are planning to celebrate Halloween? Share with us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (@allgoqpoc)!