The Best of Halloween Celebrations At Amity Mumbai This Year
31st October is celebrated as Halloween all over the world and as this culture spreads between the masses, people are getting creative by the day, with parents putting in the most effort to get creative with their kids outfits to young adults experimenting with their outfits and makeup to look the spookiest and trendiest of all the ghosts and witches. It’s really intriguing how this “trend” has caught up and transformed into a tradition worldwide.
The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain that’s pronounced “Sow-in”, where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts in the 16th-century Ireland, Scotland, England and other British and Irish islands formerly known as the Celtic nations. This day marked the end of summer and harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death.
The Celts celebrated their New Year on November 1st and believed that on the night before the New Year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. So, on the night of October 31st they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
After the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of the Celtic territory, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional celebration of Samhain the first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honour Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees.
As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups and the American Indians merged, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included “play parties,” which were public events held to celebrate the harvest. Neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, dance and sing. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. These parties focused on games, foods of the season and festive costumes. In the second half of the 19th century, the Irish immigrants in America helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything “frightening” or “grotesque” out of Halloween celebrations. Because of these efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the 20th century.
In India, Halloween tends to fall between our traditional festivals of Durga puja and Dussehra and coincides with Diwali or Kali puja and thus sometimes creates a sort of perplexity in the minds of the “woke Indians” as to what should be celebrated and what shouldn’t.
The coming of the 21st century saw a lot of beliefs and stringent traditions and customs in India being questioned and evolving by the day with each passing generation, and people have started to welcome the idea of celebrating other worldly festivals and occasions. Thus, Halloween too has started to get some due importance and is being celebrated in our own spooky sweet way.
This October, the students of Amity School of Fashion and Technology were sure to plan the Halloween celebrations a week in advance in college with the support of our faculties. With an impeccable decor setup which literally gave people the Halloween chills, it was truly an “enter at your own risk,” bewitching experience where the character masquerade was held; students dressed in all kinds of ghastly characters to win the competition and impress the judges (and probably the only day you would see supernatural creatures competing against each other in a Fashion walk.)
A flea market selling everything from handmade cards, paintings earrings and some delicious boulangerie items to other festive buys like hand painted Diyas, really helped promote the idea of “creating art” and “supporting artists” . We also had some crazy talented young artists doing body art and transforming them to the scariest versions of themselves. Minus the American way of trick-o-treating, everyone present had a great Halloween get-together filled with lots of fun, with an Indian touch!
Halloween | Definition, History, & Facts. (2019). Retrieved 14 November 2019, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/HalloweenHalloween: Origins,Meaning&Traditions- History. (2019). Retrieved 14 November 2019, from https://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween
Author & Graphic Design:
4th Year, Fashion Design
Faculty, Fashion Design