Halloween – one of the most mysterious and otherworldly holiday one knows. The history of All Hallow’s Eve traces back its roots to the ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain that our ancestors used to celebrate on October 31st. It is believed that on this particular day the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead is translucent to the point where it can be crossed.
Because of its roots, that go back ages ago, different cultures have adopted this holiday and have given it slightly different meanings. Therefore, Halloween is quite similar to Mexican Dia de Muertos, Chinese Day of Yu Lan, Jewish Yom Kippur, and many others. In general, the real meaning of Halloween is to honor and pay respect to those, who have passed away.
People dress up in scary costumes for a reason. Legend has it, that Celts would wear animal hides as a disguise so that ghosts cannot recognize them.
Later the holiday got under Christian influence and Halloween was altered, losing most of its pagan meaning. With time, people considered Halloween night as a perfect day for mystical rituals like fortunetelling and matchmaking.
Halloween is mostly an American holiday because the Puritans did not approve of it. It is celebrated on October 31st and is followed by All Saint’s Day (November 1st) Every year parents struggle with costumes trying to fulfill child’s wildest ideas, teenagers dress up and go to the parties, kids go trick-or-treating and all neighborhoods look as if the ghosts themselves decorated the houses.
Streets are filled with laughter, the tender smell of pastry, and the rustling of candies. Well, at least they used to be until today.
Today, our lives have turned upside down. With the global pandemic, we were forced to put our lives at hold for an uncertain period. However, as time passes, we have learned to live this “new life” and deal with the challenges we have faced.
We are discovering a new way of maintaining general Halloween traditions and celebrating Halloween. All you need is family, creativity, and a little bit of magic. Here we will provide you with ideas, so all you need is some time to write down all of the ideas, gather your nearest and dearest, and create some magic. Here we go!
IDEAS TO CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN WITH KIDS
With the current situation, it seems practically impossible to celebrate Halloween properly. Don’t jump into conclusions so fast! Here are some ideas not only to maintain Halloween Traditions but also to upgrade them a little and create the best holiday for your children and yourself.
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This Halloween tradition can never get old, nor should it! A pumpkin with a smiley face is usually the first thing that comes to mind. Only imagine your family sitting together at the table and carving pumpkins.
The work itself is quite messy. Therefore there is a task for everyone. Children can pick a design and color pumpkins, while you and other family members can draw the design on them and carve faces.
To spice things up you can organize an online party, where you can invite family members that cannot be there with you or create a little pumpkin-carving contest for your kids and their friends. You can also carve pumpkins “with” your neighbors. If you have an opportunity to do this outside, while being at the safe distance from one another, then do it!
Decorate Everything, Every Single Thing!
It is so great to go outside and take a look at other peoples’ houses, for each tries to do their best. Today, it might be a little bit difficult to do with all restrictions, but it’s okay.
Decorate your house from the outside and create a real ghost realm inside the house. Kids anticipate the day when they get to decorate the house each year. Therefore, enhance their flow of creativity and have fun together.
Continuing the topic of decoration, you can create most of them on your own. You can cut bats, spiders, ghosts, and pumpkin decorations out of paper.
This will occupy kids for quite some time. Help them if they need you and check on them from time to time in case if they can create decorations on their own.
Decorate the house together and create a real Halloween atmosphere together, because nothing can make a holiday better than a teamwork. Also, if children are bigger and can use scissors, you can create a playdate for kids, where they can talk to their friends and do crafts together.
Real Halloween Menu
What can be better that a pizza with spiders on it or a Frankenstein cookie? Right, only a tomato juice that looks a lot like blood! Turn the kitchen into a laboratory, where you can create all the tasty and spooky dishes.
Make sure to involve children in the cooking process. Ask them to help you not only with decorations but also with creating a menu.
This way you will show them that you care for their opinion. Kids will feel more involved and responsible, so they will be more eager to help and leave all of the worries behind.
An all-time favorite is Halloween treats! Bake different shaped cookies and decorate them with colored frosting and sweets. Pinterest will provide you with numerous ideas that a child can easily do.
It is easy and fast to buy a Halloween costume online or pick it up in the shop. It is easier, but not fun. Therefore, consider creating it on your own (I mean together with kids).
Children love DIY things because they can get creative and do something with their own hands. Let a child fantasize and make a beautiful costume. Help a little one as much as you can, but under no circumstances should you do everything instead of a kid.
Even if it is a toddler we are speaking about. Ask a child whether a little one likes it or not and let a baby do at least the smallest thing. Be a team player and enjoy the process together.
Furthermore, you can turn the costume-making experience into a Zoom contest of DIY costumes or a Halloween fashion show. Don’t miss the chance to socialize with friends and relatives!
Probably the best part of getting ready for the Halloween festivities! Nowadays, the internet is filled with different Halloween makeup tutorials. All you need to do is ask uncle Google.
Choose the makeup together and be an active participant in the process. Each loving father can endure a black eyeliner and a spider over his eyebrow. Do it for both kids and Spider-Man!
Do the child’s makeup and then let a little one do yours. Draw scary faces, have a whale of a time, and enjoy each second.
Do not forget to take pictures, because you might want to put these memories on your fridge. Again, don’t forget to consider the idea of an online makeup party.
Children can be really surprising. Quite often parents are caught off guard by the ideas that can occur in little one’s head. Therefore, mix up some “potions” and create slime or any other interesting thing that you can find on the internet.
There are tons of recipes of slimes and ideas of how to conduct a chemical experiment (a safe one!) using ingredients you can find in the kitchen and laundry room. Children will love to take on the role of a scientist!
One of the most significant Halloween tradition is trick-or-treating. The whole idea revolves around going door to door collecting sweets. No worries, there is a Trick-or-Treat 2020 version.
Because social distancing is extremely important, you need to coordinate with your neighbors. You can drive a car or a bicycle with your kid, who’ll pick up candies from a neighbor’s front yard or will take some from the bowl at the porch.
In this way, you can minimize the risk for kids and your neighbors. You can stand in a creepy (but not too much) way by the window, or dress up like a ghost and wave kids “hello” when they come to collect the candies.
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Halloween is all about mystery, so add some of it into a box you can prepare for your neighbors. We can call it an altered way of trick-or-treating, the difference is that instead of taking, you will give.
Bake some spooky cookies, decorate them put them in a box or a paper bag, and leave them at the neighbors front door. Use your imagination and put there whatever your heart desires (cookies, candies, etc.) and make someone happy by this act of kindness.
“Together but Apart” Party
Oxymoron makes everything sound more suspenseful don’t you think so? Get in touch with your neighbors and organize a little Halloween festival.
You can create a small Costume Parade. Remember about keeping a distance, decide who will go first and who follows next. It will look like a fashion show!
Also, it would be great to arrange a spooky story evening. Neighbors can find a place at a safe distance from one another and tell scary stories or watch a scary movie or a cartoon set up via the projector.
This will feel refreshing for both adults and kids. Simply remember about social distancing and follow the plan.
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Trunk or Treat
This idea has been around for some time now, but it has never been more relevant than it is now. You can set up one in your neighborhood so that children could collect some candies. To minimize the contact, the trunkers can pass out candies to kids.
Spooky Movie Night
It seems that no Halloween can go without a good old movies and cartoons. Netflix can help you out a when looking for your favorite movies and series to create a holiday atmosphere. For instance, “Hocus Pocus” for Halloween is almost as important as “Home Alone” for New Year’s Eve.
Also, it is a great way to introduce children to movies of your time and get to know what kids watch these days. Great way to bond with one another. Get cozy, take some sweets with you, turn off the lights, and dive into the world of fantasy and scary stories.
Do you like stories that send a shiver down your spine? They get even better in the circle of friends and family. Create a contest to choose the best spooky story.
You can create one or simply retell the one you know. However, keep in mind that children have a wide imagination, so make sure that your stories don’t keep them up at night.
Create a Zoom or FaceTime (or any other) meeting, where you can involve your friends, family, and child’s friends. Socialize while staying at home and behave a great time together!
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You can find a drive-thru around the country. They are safe, so you can look for one that is near and go check it out. Visit haunted roads and drive-thru haunted houses.
You can go to the parking lot and see old Halloween movies or drop by trick-or-treating stops.
Read Spooky Books
We are a generation that has witnessed great fiction books and stories, but there is a chance that a growing generation will not know about them. For instance, can you imagine that a child will not know who Harry Potter is?
I don’t know about you, but it sounds chills down my spine. This is a great chance to make children interested in fictional books and get to know about the world of magic and mystery.
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Learn About Halloween in Other Countries
As we have already mentioned Halloween is an ancient holiday and it has settled in different cultures. Children like legends, because they have something fictional and real in them.
Therefore, dig deeper into the world’s heritage. Here are some stories for you about one of the holidays closest to Halloween.
Dia de Los Muertos
Even though this is the Day of the Dead, the celebration is filled with different bright-colored festivities that soothe the soul. The first day of the dead is also known as the Day of Nuestros Angelitos.
It translates as the “Day of Little Angels” referring to spirits of children, who have died. It is believed that these little spirits come to visit first because they are little and fast.
Ofredna is an alter that each family sets for the dead family member. They bring goods such as food, drinks, and items of personal significance. They do this to honor the deceased and to ask them for protection and guidance.
Also, family members set a private alter at home, where amongst food and drinks they put pictures, cigars, books, and other things that were dear for the person. In general, the event has a festive atmosphere, where musicians play musical instruments and sing songs, people eat and drink. It is done in order to encourage good spirits.
One more thing that is associated with Dia de Los Muertos is a colored skull. La Catrina is the most prominent character that represents this holiday. It is a classy skeletal lady that was created by Jose Guadalupe Posada.
He did this to give elegance and beauty to this celebration. Also, people make sugar skulls out of chocolate.
These skulls represent people whose name is written on them. They symbolize a merge of Spanish molding custom and Pre Hispanic culture.
Day of the Dead must include flowers! Flowers are an important attribute because people use petals of flowers, like Cempasuchitl, to show the dead the way back to the world of living to see their relatives.
Last but not least – food! Sweet bread of the dead might sound a little bit off, but it is very tasty. People enjoy it with coffee or hot cocoa.
Also, Mexicans really like a dark pudding-like dressing that is usually added to the chicken. Let us not forget about Pozole. Pozole is a soup of tomatoes and balls of corn, garlic, onion, reddish garnish, lettuce, herb, and pulled pork.
Finally, Aztec Soup. It is a soup that is made of almost the same ingredients as Pozole, but instead of pork people use chicken and instead of corn balls, people add tortilla balls.
Today, the world has put life on hold in order to get through the crisis. We stay at home to secure ourselves and our loved ones, but no one knows how long it will take until things go back to normal. Regardless, we need to continue living and find a way out of every situation that life puts us in.
We need to take care of our mental and physical health, cherish family, and friends because tomorrow is not a promise. Living means celebrating, so let’s celebrate together! Halloween is one of the most interesting and mysterious holidays existing. Let’s use the opportunity and turn it into the best time spent with family and friends.
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