Halloween has become an excuse to dress in outrageous costumes and dance to tunes mixed by DJs in swanky nightclubs, writes Jaideep Deo Bhanj
October is packed with festivals that give youngsters a break from their hectic studies and work, to enjoy time with their family. To make the most of the festive spirit, youngsters are adding a westernised twist by celebrating Halloween, close on the heels of Navratri. Far removed from the traditional celebrations of Halloween in the West, here the youth see it as an excuse to dress in outrageous costumes and dance to tunes mixed by DJs in swanky nightclubs.
Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve, is an annual festival celebrated on October 31 in most countries in the West. It is celebrated a day before All Saints’ Day. It was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and also with pagan rituals related to the dead. Children go from house to house dressed in costumes asking ‘trick or treats’. A popular practice is to light bonfires and carve pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns with various facial expressions. Some people like to tell horror stories, watch horror movies and visit places reputed to be haunted.
With the increase in the number of students studying abroad and the influence of social media, Halloween is well known among college students all over the world. A number of cafes in Vizag have put up posters advertising Halloween parties.
The festival has also been made popular by the Harry Potter series, in which Halloween is celebrated with a grand feast at Hogwarts. Also, there are a number of horror movies centred on the theme of Halloween.
Faraz Ahmed, who works at a multinational company, was shocked when he saw photos of his friend who was working abroad dressed as a vampire at a party on Facebook. “It is through social networking sites that we in India come to know about the culture of a foreign country. I am now eager to attend a costume party myself and have been planning a wild costume,” he says, all excited.
Dhruvraj Singh, who studied in an international school in Zambia for a few years, says it was a fun experience to get involved in Halloween celebrations in his school and it was interesting to see how innovative students got with their costumes. He is excited at the prospect of attending a Halloween party in Vizag this week. Rahul Dodka, who runs an event management company, is organising a Halloween party in the city. He says this is the first time that a Halloween theme party is being organised in Vizag and his company is trying to target college students.
“We are redoing the décor at a club in the city with drapes and neon graffiti to create the perfect ambience.
Those attending the party will have to be dressed in costumes. For those who do not turn up in costume we will be providing masks at the venue,” he adds. A look at the event’s Facebook page shows that the party is creating quite a buzz.
From its pagan origins to ostentatious parties, Halloween has come a long way. Here in Vizag it’s just another excuse for youngsters to have some more fun.