Hallowe’en, or Halloween, occurs on 31st October, which is often within the schools’ October half-term week ~ very handy for parents looking for things to occupy their children’s time! It comes just before Bonfire Night, which adds to the festive atmosphere.
In Britain, Hallowe’en was a traditional pagan celebration connected with the passing of spirits into the next world. Hollowed-out pumpkin lanterns made to look like heads had a dark, symbolic meaning. However, in the USA, Halloween evolved into a time to revel in all things spooky. With the advent of social media, it has increasingly caught the imagination of the British in recent years. This means that you can now buy witchy outfits for your children, along with ghoulish masks and face painting kits, and some parents organise Hallowe’en parties where everything is horror-themed. Orange and black are the prevailing colours.
If your children are brave enough, they may even want to follow the American tradition of ‘trick-or-treating’ for free sweets from neighbours, an activity which a parent must accompany as the responsible adult, ensuring that the children knock only on friends’ doors, as otherwise it is liable to be seen as begging.