It adds to the list of social events annexed by Coronavirus, marking its entry into Autumn; a season which back in March, many optimists hoped might be free from the pandemic.
Halloween has come to be an important hallmark in the British calendar, its meaning differing with age. Whilst young children gorge on sweets and chocolate in costume, older ‘kids’ do so with alcohol. Some adults take to Halloween and its celebrations less favourably, deeming it a consumerist ploy and a display of ‘Americanisation’. With many adults falling at the brunt of ‘tricks’ and pranks these negative connotations may well be justified.
Regardless of your personal outlook on Halloween, its increasing prominence in the UK each year is undeniable. For me, Halloween has significance beyond its immediate festivities, as it resembles the height of autumn, where the nights have become longer and colder, and the leaves are crisp and orange. Halloween is a cue which reminds us to notice these changing surroundings. While these seasonal shifts might seem hard to miss, often it takes a defined occasion for us to register and reflect on the transition of time- and the colours, temperatures and light which changes with it.
As such, it’s important that we don’t cancel Halloween this year, as that will only add to the disorientation created by Covid-19. As we continue to adapt in these uncertain times, often even grasping the days of the week can be challenging, let alone the changing seasons. While trick or treating may be off the cards, recognising the joys of autumn need not be. In fact, recognising Halloween could be pretty beneficial. We all need an excuse to celebrate (even if this year that means no more than a scary film and a Deliveroo). Take time to notice the sensory changes brought about around Halloween. Eat and drink comforting warm food and seasonal produce. If you’re not isolating, wrap up warm and go for long walks- Jesmond Dene is the perfect location to soak up some fresh air and get your leafy ‘country fix’ amidst the City bustle. So, while another occasion as we know it may be crossed off the calendar this year, take time for your own appreciation and festivities, to help feel more grounded in this funny time…but also to create some fun!
Feature Image: Pixabay @webandi