Hallowe'en Can Still Be Celebrated One Way Or Another
It’s been a trending topic and with Canadian Thanksgiving behind us, it’s bound to become even trendier: the discussion about whether or not Halloween will be cancelled.
Before we get into that, here’s a tiny taste of history. Halloween is a date on the calendar commemorating many beliefs and celebrations dating back to over 2,000 years ago when the Celts celebrated the festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), and incorporating Roman festivities for Feralia (the passing of the dead) and Pomona (the goddess of fruit and trees).
It’s also the eve before the Christian All Saints Day, where the modern Hallow’s Eve and eventually Halloween takes its moniker. The common traditions in North America of dressing up and “trick or treating” is a combination of several European traditions dating back to Samhain.
Back to the whether Halloween will be cancelled. The truth is, much like other religious days and events, it can’t really be “cancelled,” but pandemic restrictions could cause adjustments to the way it’s celebrated.
However, specific events can be cancelled, like the Great Pumpkin Trail in Huntsville – which is usually hosted by Muskoka Heritage Place in Pioneers Village.
So, in the face of COVID and other potential cancellations what are some ways to celebrate Halloween this year?
You, your family, and close friends can always go very old school this Halloween and honour the Pagan spirits by burning crops and animals, all while wearing masks of the animals … But, maybe that’s a little bit much for most people, in which case, here are a few tips to enjoying a more modern Halloween during COVID.
Have a pumpkin carving contest in your neighbourhood: see who can make the scariest, most detailed, or even best-looking pumpkins and display them outside for all to see.
Do the same with your house – have a neighbourhood contest on who has the best Halloween decorations of the lot … extra points for a common theme and style – don’t just put up gross and scary items that don’t make sense.
Actually do trick or treating in one form or another: for safety have everyone put out baskets of treats and trust the honour system (put a sign saying how many treats per kid); maybe insist on neighbourhood kids only knocking on doors; or just do it like normal, go out and have a blast – but, keep social distancing in mind.
If you’re going to do it like normal, how about coming up with a costume that incorporates children’s COVID masks? Ninjas, video game characters, comic book heroes and villains, Star Wars heroes and villains, and other interesting fictional beings have mask-donning individuals or groups perfect for matching function and creativity.
These are just a few tips from us to you. The Centre for Disease control in the U.S. put together an extensive list of safety tips and suggestions. You can check it out here; https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#fall-celebrations
Whatever you and your family – or your community at large – choose is appropriate for you, make sure to do it safely and above all, with a healthy dose of fun.
By Chris Occhiuzzi, special to HuntersBayRadio.com
When Chris isn’t writing stories for HuntersBayRadio.com, Dockside Publishing or running MuskokaUnlimited.com, you can find him volunteering his time as a coach and board member for the Huntsville Soccer Club.