Halloween Through a Different Lens



A collection of photos demonstrating the ways different cultures celebrate Halloween.

Cedar Zuijdgeest and Claire Kim

Halloween is here! People have decorated their houses, shopped for costumes, and visited pumpkin patches. This is how a lot of people celebrate the holiday. However, there are more ways to celebrate Halloween than one.

Freshman Amina Smith (she/they) says that they celebrate Halloween in a spiritual way involving their African heritage. She makes curries special to the African area, and participates in using herbs and other foods. Her culture worships gods that have to do with nights, since Halloween is mainly celebrated at night. Candle rituals and ceremonies also take part in the celebration. Overall, the season of fall is worshiped. 

Oktoberfest is a German holiday that lasts two weeks. During this holiday, people participate in beer-drinking and eating sausage. Dances and parades are held, and traditional German clothing is worn. Sarynn Johnson (he/they), a sophomore, said that they celebrate Oktoberfest. Their favorite part about the celebration is, “The food, they have lots of meats.’’

When it comes to dressing up for Halloween, many people hustle to stores or frantically search online for a costume. Freshman Hannah Putman (all pronouns) came up with a different technique. Using his passion for arts and crafts as inspiration, he mixes clothing he already owns and things he makes himself into costumes. In past years, they made an Among Us costume and a Five Nights at Freddy’s security guard costume. This year, she’s piecing together a Ninja Turtle costume. 

Putman uses a variety of supplies. ‘‘Lots of cardboard, glue, this year, fabric.’’ She said that the hardest part about making her own costumes is that, “Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. I have goggles for my current costume and it’s a very specific design of the character. The goggles I had to tape because glue didn’t work, but now the tape isn’t working.” The trial and error process is something that Putman finds themselves having to work around with.

Another holiday celebrated during Halloween is Samhain, which is a Gaelic holiday that marks the Celtic New Year as well as the end of summer and harvest season. It also signals the beginning of winter and the darker part of the year. 

The Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, which largely originates in Mexico, is commonly celebrated by students here. This day is the celebration of life and death. During this holiday, families use marigolds to guide and welcome the souls of deceased loved ones for a celebration that involves reunion, food, and drink.

There are many different ways to celebrate during the Halloween season, each one just as interesting as the last. It’s good to embrace the diverse community here at Mountainside to create an environment that students feel safe sharing their cultural values and traditions. Not everyone celebrates holidays the same, so it’s our duty to support others heritage during the seasonal festivities. Ask your friends how they celebrate, and don’t forget to have a happy Halloween!