Halloween is upon us and with the continued lingering of Covid-19, many of us are unsure of what to do with our little ghouls and ghosts. The risks of walking the neighborhood or going to Trunk or Treats are very real. Social distancing, sanitizing, mask wearing, and even candy gathering are some of the challenges that this very social holiday brings.
But I say, don’t get discouraged and let there be Halloween….just not like we’re used to. You don’t need to walk the neighborhood and get pillowcases full of candy for it to be Halloween. In fact, the very first Halloween didn’t even involve candy or costumes…well maybe not the kind of costumes that we think of. Halloween wasn’t even called Halloween! It was first known as Samhain, then All Hallows or All Saints Day. Just like its name, the holiday went through several stages before it became what we know it as today.
Halloween dates back almost 2,000 years ago, where Celtics celebrated the end of the harvest season and the dead. They would build big bonfires and wear animal-like costumes to honor their dead. When the Romans seized the Celtic lands, they combined the celebration with theirs adding Goddess’s to honor. Then, the Christians adopted the holiday to honor and pray for the souls of the dead. They walked in parades, built bonfires like the Celtics, and dressed up like angels, saints, and devils. When the tradition arrived in America,plays were added along with ghost stories. As time went on costumes changed and children started to dress up and go from house to house for treats. Halloween as we know it came into effect around the 20th Century.
If you need more facts about Halloween and its history check out these great books in the Children’s Library:
So, instead of trick or treating this year try something from the past like building a bon fire and telling ghost stories. Or, you can try one of the suggestions below to help you and your family get into the Halloween spirit.
Why not “Zoom” into a Halloween party? Invite all your friends and family to join you for a very spooky party…virtually. Halloween backgrounds from Unsplash.com can easily be used to add an extra spooktacular touch to your party. Make sure you don’t forget the costumes so you can host a “Monster Fashion Show” for all to “ooooo & ahhhh” at. And what would a party be without music and games? You can stop by the library to pick up a copy of Kidz Bop: Halloween Hits! or Halloween Party cd to help get your Monster Groove on.
As for games, there are tons of Halloween themed Bingo sheets that you can print online along with ideas on what other types of games you can play virtually such as charades, Simon Says, a Haunted Scavenger Hunt, and Ghost Bowling.
For dinner time, make hot “mummy” dogs with ghost-tators or “eyeballs” and spaghetti with black lemonade. Then for dessert you can whip up some Spider-chip cookies or a Graveyard cake with marshmallow ghosts and skeleton bone candies. And if that’s not enough, you can stop by the library and check out one of our Halloween Cookbooks for more creepy dinner and snack ideas.
Halloween wouldn’t be the same without a “bone-chilling” movie feature and with Covid-19, this is a great way to spend the holiday. So grab some “bewitched” popcorn and bubbling witches brew and head to the couch or your favorite chair to enjoy a Halloween film-fest. Here at the library you can find many family-fun movies that are sure to bring a smile and maybe even a shiver down your spines.
Making Halloween crafts at home is a great way to get the family together. One simple idea that can help spread some Halloween fun is making Ghost Greeting Cards. These cards can definitely bring a spooky surprise to all that you send them too. If you have an empty vegetable can or soup can you can add some paint and turn it into a Frank-Can-Stein. And with all those toilet paper rolls laying around, mummy’s can be made or even a Bat Mobile. For more spooky ideas come to the library and check out one of our many Halloween Craft books.