HAPPY ALL HALLOWS EVE (or Halloween)
Some love it, some hate it, but it’s sweet! Yes, we are talking about Halloween, a celebration where people put on costumes, and kids go trick-or-treating for delicious candy. It’s the one day of the year when you can be somebody or something else.
This celebration originated with the Celtic festival of Samhain, a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. People would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts and bad spirits. The celebration was limited in colonial New England because of the rigid Protestant belief systems there but was common in Maryland and the southern colonies.
As the beliefs and customs of European ethnic groups and the native people meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included parties, which were public events held to celebrate the harvest. Neighbours would share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, dance and sing.
Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, parties, costumes and eating treats.
The tradition was brought into Canada in the mid to late 1800s by Irish and Scottish immigrants. You probably didn’t know, but North America’s first recorded instance of dressing in disguise on Halloween was right here in Vancouver, BC, in 1898, while the first recorded use of the term trick or treat was in Lethbridge, Alberta, in 1927.
HALLOWEEN and COVID-19
This year as with many other celebrations and festivals, Halloween won’t be the same due to Covid19 as our priority must be to stay safe during this Halloween.
According to the British Columbia Center for Disease Control, we can still celebrate, but we must do it less socially and keep trick-or-treat locally. Some of the recommendations include:
Skip Halloween parties this year.
Trick or treating in small groups
Get creative handing out treats
No matter how you celebrate Halloween this year…
• Turn off your porch light and stay at home if you are sick or self-isolating.
• Try including a non-medical mask or face covering as part of your costume. Costume masks should not be worn over non-medical masks or face coverings, making it difficult to breathe.
• Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often.
Skip Parties – Parties are always fun, except when you risk catching or spreading covid19 so consider the following for Halloween 2020:
Skip Halloween parties this year.
Indoor gatherings, big or small, put people at higher risk of getting COVID-19.
Celebrate with your favourite Halloween movie or other traditions that you can do with your household or social group.
If you celebrate with others, keep it within your social group (stick to six).
You should know everyone who attends, no plus ones.
Don’t pass around snacks, drinks, smokes, tokes, and vapes.
Be more outside than inside. Keep your space well-ventilated with windows open.
Avoid using props that can cause coughing, such as smoke machines.
Be careful with hand sanitizer and open flames – hand sanitizer is very flammable! Trick-or-treating in small groups and follow these tips:
Get creative handing out treats.
• Get creative; you can use tongs, a baking sheet or make a candy slide to give more space when handing out candy.
• Wear a non-medical mask that covers your nose and mouth when handing out treats.
• Be more outside than inside.
• Help make trick-or-treating more accessible to everyone by handing out treats from the bottom of your stairs or at your curbside.
Remember, life, as in Halloween, is all about the right attitude, so put on that costume and have a blast!
Created with images by Cristian Newman – “Dead and flowers” • Bee Felten-Leidel – “last pumpkin of the year” • Ben Shan – “untitled image” by Adobe Spark.