Halloween is an ancient pagan holiday, loved worldwide by lots of people and it remains one of the world’s most well-known celebrations. The main ways of celebrating more or less remain the same in every country, however, there are still some global differences when it comes to celebrating it.
Some of our RGU students, both International and Scottish, were happy to share their experiences and feelings towards Halloween.
Jenna Frickleton (Falkirk), a first-year Occupational Therapy student said:
’’I am generally celebrating Halloween by dressing up and going out to a Halloween themed club with my friends.
The thing I love the most about this celebration is spending time with all my friends and getting creative with my costume. I love doing something very different every year and try to make each costume better than the last.
For this year's Halloween, I will be dressing up as a harlequin using make-up, contact lenses and a black, white and red outfit, putting it together by myself.
As for plans, my friends and I will be going to the capital city and partying and celebrating together.’’
Maria Popescu (Bucharest), a second-year Communication Design student said:
’’Considering it’s a relatively new thing in the East, the balkans have responded quite sceptically to Halloween. We consider it to be a celebration of evil and since Romania is a very religious country, it is considered that witchcraft, dark magic, skulls, death and blood could have a negative impact, especially on children. For a few years now, the youth started to try breaking these old perceptions, by wearing something perky, orange or decorative on Halloween day. Of course, there is a minority who embrace the holiday and celebrates it ’’properly’’, from themed parties and scary movie nights to costume catwalks in schools.
Romania is quite reserved and judgemental towards people wearing anything but what is expected for them to wear. Meanwhile, Scottish people are more tolerant and used to diversity. Another difference would be the consumer strategy in both countries: while Romania has been slowly starting to implement small isles of bulk candies and pumpkin decorations, the shops in Scotland start selling Halloween props from early September.
As every celebration has its own charm, I am inclined to say that I don’t mind the orange, bright colours that Halloween brings in a city, but I think it is common for people to exaggerate and unreasonably share fear and terror towards other. This is the reason why I tend to like the calmness of my hometown rather than the screams, creepy chills and overuse of fake blood that I’ve remarked here.
But, an artist is an artist, so I must stay inspired by peaking at other people’s creativity and what better way there is than joining their feasts and culture.”
Elise Buet (Saint-Nazaire), a first-year Journalism student said:
’’In my country, few people celebrate Halloween, sometimes you can see children having parties, but that’s not usually happening. For example, here children go to trick-or-treating, going from door to door, but in France, almost nobody does that.
When I was in France, I usually was helping my little sister to organise her Halloween party, as she is one of the few people doing something for Halloween. On the other hand, I enjoy more Halloween in Scotland, definitely, because I like this holiday and here I can celebrate it properly!
For this year, I will have a Halloween social and maybe go partying after. And probably I will dress up as a skeleton this year.’’
Krissi Andreeva (Sofia), an exchange student at RGU from the Netherlands, said:
’’In my hometown, Halloween has been becoming more and more famous with each passing year. I feel that we have been exposed to American television a lot and that gave way to the interest of celebrating some of their holidays - one of which is Halloween. A lot of clubs and organisations tend to organise themed parties on the day (or before if the day falls in the middle of the week). People seem to be getting very interested in dressing up as their favourite character or anything really. Even in some schools students tend to dress up during the day.
Recently it is becoming more common in my neighbourhood for young children to dress up and go door to door - I live in an apartment building. The whole building buys candy and when the children ring the doorbell they act scared or wowed by the costumes. Sometimes the groups even go from building to building.
This year will actually be my first year celebrating Halloween in Scotland and so far I have no idea as to how they celebrate it here. I am excited though and curious to see how they do it. I assume a larger portion of the people here will dress up and attend Halloween themed parties.
As for a costume, I definitely plan on dressing up and going out on the weekend. I don’t have a character in mind yet, but I am kind of looking into the idea of wearing a wig.’’