New Delhi: Halloween, although an import
from the west is fast catching up with its cousin Valentine's
Day in popularity sans the strident opposition the latter
faces every year.
"Indians need an excuse to celebrate. We can easily make
an Irish festival our own" says Anurag Wadhwa of a fancy dress
outlet in the capital.
"There has been a 25- 50 per cent increase in orders for
Halloween costumes since last year, the most popular Halloween
accessory being devil-horn headbands and eye masks," says
Wadhwa, who attributes the festival's popularity to the growth
of foreign multi-national corporations in the capital, as well
as to the various embassies it hosts.
Another popular cafe - Hard Rock Cafe - has given the
night their own twist, using Halloween to celebrate and pay
tribute to Michael Jackson. Designed around Michael Jackson's
iconic music video "Thriller", the organisers hope the event
will appeal to all homesick foreigners and fun-loving desis.
"We want to give all our patrons a chance to experience a
real Halloween with scary decorations, costumes and
theme-specific food and drinks. We hope this will be an event
people will start looking forward to every year", says Amit
Keswani, VP Sales Marketing & Operations of JSM Corp Pvt. Ltd.
The idea behind dressing up in scary costumes is to ward
off any evil spirits that may visit your home as it is on this
night that the line between the living and the dead is
considered the thinnest, therefore letting in both harmless
and harmful spirits. Often, those loved and lost are paid
tribute to while evil spirits are warded or 'scared' off,
explains an enthusiast.
The custom of 'trick-or-treating' refers to when children
go door-to-door asking for treats and trick anyone who does
not treat them. When people do not open the door and give them
candy, children play pranks like leaving a smelly fish or a
rat in the person's mailbox, he says.
Halloween has its roots in the old Irish festival of
Samhain which originally celebrated the onset of winter.
Today, it is characterised by the colours black and orange,
bonfires, wearing the scariest costume possible,
jack-o-lanterns, ghost stories and – amongst Twilight fans in
the city - vampires.
"This halloween, vampires will literally be coming out of
their graves" says designer Shauna Gupta, who is heading to a
Halloween costume party on Saturday. I'm going as a
'shapeshifter', she grins. 'Shapeshifters' means vampires who
can 'borrow' the shape or body of any animal. "We're really
looking forward to the party and we expect about 150 people
this year," says Pushkar Mitroo of Cibo restaurant and bar.
F-bar's Halloween party this year is also a "Vampire's
"The setting is an old eerie gothic castle with a
graveyard, and the music, cocktails and food will all be in
line with the theme. We will also have a range of props for
our shyer guests to choose from," says Deepali Narula, CEO of
"Although the decor will be typical of Halloween, the
music will be a mix of ghostly, dark tunes and commercial
beats, so the music retains an Indian touch," she adds.
First Published: Friday, October 30, 2009, 21:17