Year-round Festivals Series 38 – Halloween – Is it right to make trouble?

Halloween is celebrated on 31st October every year. The festival is popular in western countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

Nowadays, this festival has evolved into a folk custom. The Celtic peoples of Britain believed that the souls of the dead would return to their former dwellings on the night of 31st October, so they would put on masks and walk around their villages in order to frighten away these souls. They do this out of fear, hoping that they will not get hurt. 

The festival is also reminiscent of the Mexican Day of the Dead. Pixar Animation’s cartoon “Coco” is a moving story that deeply depicts the Mexican Day of the Dead as an inspiration and calls for modern people to pay more attention to the love of family and to look down on fame, wealth and applause.

Halloween is one of the favourite holidays for children because it is a day when they can legitimately go trick-or-treating!

“Trick or Treat?” is a Halloween-specific children’s activity. Traditionally, they dress up as ghosts and go door-to-door with a large group of children or accompanied by an adult to visit their neighbours. Together, the children say “Trick or treat?” to their neighbours, and if the adult chooses not to give them any sweets, they have to go on a trick-or-treating spree.

It’s not easy for children to learn today.  They have a lot of homework and many tutorial classes to attend. Expectations from parents, relatives and schools are really overwhelming. If we look at Halloween from this perspective, it could be a fun time for adults and children to play together.

Before and after Halloween, parents have a responsibility to remind their children that they should respect others. Respecting elders such as parents and teachers is also a good attitude for students to have. This produces children with good character and manners.

Helping Children Build Self-Confidence: The Unique Self

Last Halloween, I introduced a children’s storybook “BOO, LITTLE BEASTIE!” by Matt Robertson. The story begins with Bertie the Beast’s longing to make friends. On the night of Halloween, Bertie doesn’t have to hide his sharp teeth and roar any more, he mixes with a group of children dressed up as ghosts and blends in with them naturally.

The little wild beast in this story reminds us of the time when we were studying in school, there were always one or two kids who were more mischievous and looked like bullies. In fact, what this bully really wants is to be accepted and cared for. This book also teaches children to accept their classmates, especially those who are different from them.


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◢ Elva Lai enjoys creating art, reading, travelling, hiking and making a cup of coffee in the morning. She received her education in Singapore, the United States, Germany and Hong Kong.

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