Halloween derives from the Celtic festival Samhain, in which they celebrated the new year on the first of November. The day marked the end of Summer and the start of Winter, in which they believed that the veil between the living and dead was blurred. October thirty-first is the day they believed that ghosts returned to earth, and that celebration became Samhain. When the Roman Empire conquered Celtic land, they merged Samhain with Feralia, a day in which they remembered the dead, and a day to honour Pomona, the goddess of trees and fruit. The second is where bobbing for apples comes from. These are the earliest influences of Halloween! There are many more things and events that have influenced Halloween becoming what it is now, but these are the biggest factors.
Halloween is a time to get spooky, to enjoy scary movies, to dress up and eat sweets! Of course, it being 2020 throws a spanner into some plans, mainly trick or treating, but Halloween can still be fun regardless of that! We can still dress up, we can still eat sweets and watch scary movies, and most importantly, we can still have fun! I see a lot of people being reckless and borderline dangerous on Halloween, and I thought I’d share some of my do’s and don’t’s I’ve picked up over the years. Remember - these are meant with a pinch of salt, but some of them fall into common sense and being a general decent person.
Do keep warm. It’s Autumn and pretty chilly. Dress appropriately for the weather. It’s tempting to dress in something nice that’s more summery, but you could risk getting ill. It’s worth keeping warm and dressing appropriately for the weather. Your body and immune system will thank you for it!
Don’t eat more sweets than you can handle. Listen to your body! Know your limits. It’s tempting to eat as many sweets as you can, but your body won’t appreciate it. Keep moderation in mind. If you start to feel ill, stop. Plus, then you’ll get more sweets for later and that’s always good.
Watch scary movies! That could be Coraline or Halloween, it depends on your preferences! Don’t scare yourself silly. Halloween isn’t about being scared, it’s about having fun. Don’t push yourself. Know your limits!
Don’t be offensive. I feel as if this goes into common sense, but I see more and more people breaking this each year. Be aware of harmful stereotypes, cultural appropriation and anything else that falls into the offensive bubble. Dress up, but keep those in mind. If you’re in doubt, it’s probably worth staying away from that idea.
Do drink responsibly. To the over 18s, (under 18s, don’t drink alcohol, it’s illegal, BUT if you do then please keep this in mind), know your limits. Have a designated sober friend. Make sure you’re safe. Turn your location on on your phone, make sure someone knows where you are, don’t take your eyes off of your drink, when the room starts spinning then stop drinking. Be safe. That’s the important thing. This goes for all year round, but this is a general reminder in time for Halloween. This also leads me to my next point!
Don’t break Lockdown rules! Don’t go to parties, don’t meet in groups of six or more, don’t meet with people outside of your extended household, but the rules might vary depending on where you live! What’s said in the conferences usually contradicts itself, so check the government website and check your county’s guidelines just to be safe. I can’t stress enough how important this is. Don’t break lockdown rules. If you want to party, Zoom exists. Be sensible. Listen to the rules. Don’t be -that- person.
Do look after yourself! This is a general all year round one but another reminder for Halloween! Listen to your body, don’t do anything harmful, abide by lockdown rules, socialise either online or with your extended household, have a relaxing movie night, eat some sweet things, but listen to your body! Know your limits and your boundaries!
Don’t prank unwilling participants. Egg someone’s house? Toilet paper over someone’s car? Don’t. 1) Eggs can be useful for other things and if this year has taught us anything, toilet paper is important! 2) Consent. Don’t prank anyone who doesn’t consent. Don’t do anything that will affect another if they don’t consent. Consent is key! Unless they literally say yes, then don’t do it.
Do decorate! Get your spook on! Remember to reuse anything you use next year, don’t throw things away unless you have to, and if they’re single use then try to avoid them! Think of the environment. Plastic banners, bunting and table decorations? They can be reused! Throw them in a bag and wait for next Halloween! Get in the responsible spooky spirit!
Don’t contact spirits. Ouija boards might look cool, but they’re dangerous. Even if you don’t believe in them, stay away! Divination is fun, but ouija boards are dangerous. They’re a door that once opened you have no control over. Don’t. It’s not worth the risk. Don’t try any type of divination unless you’ve done ample research and are prepared to do so.
Do have fun! Again, keep everything above in mind, but have fun. This is one of the most important steps, along with staying safe. Every day is fun day, but Halloween is a good excuse to get spooky and have fun!
Those are some of my tips for Halloween! Even though things are hard this year, we adapt and we overcome. Maybe do a Halloween quiz on zoom with some friends! Do a Zoom fancy dress competition! Netflix Party! Things are different but this is the new normal. As much as it sucks, it will get better. I know that that’s cliche, that everyone says that, but things will. Halloween is no exception. It’s a Saturday night and a full moon, take that time to enjoy yourself and get spooky! Be safe, be awesome, be you, be spooky! Embrace the eerie time and keep in mind general safety but that being said, enjoy yourself. Take the spooky time to recharge. You deserve it.
~ En x
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