Halloween is an annual festival observed in USA where a large Hindu community also resides. The time coincides with Dussera festival of Hindus. It is celebrated on October 31 each year and comes after Deepawali.
The festivity includes several interesting activities such as trick of treating, attending costume parties and visiting haunted attractions. The technological displays provide grounds for experimentation to attract visitors. The festival generates a lot of business also as many items are on sale in Malls to attract children, youths and adults. It has almost turned out to be a global festival cutting across faiths and nationalities. Hindu community also enjoys decoration and display of items associated with Halloween.
Its thematic origins are linked to the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds. It is also linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain.
Artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time. The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland during Halloween. The imagery of Halloween is derived from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature such as Dracula, and classic horror films. Homes and surroundings are often decorated with horrifying of symbols around Halloween.
Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, and mythical monsters. Black and orange are the holiday’s traditional colors.
It will be an idea worth consideration with an open mind to add a Hindu theme also to it by displaying some Ramayana icons. This will have some educational purpose also. Ramayana is the most ancient epic in the history of mankind and faiths. Thus by hanging caricatures of flying Hanuman ( Monkey God), Jambuvana, Nala and Neel ( Bears) and other monkeys can add some zest. Some humanized characters can also be added in their traditional way like Rama and Lakshmana shooting at the demons already at display. Light and sound effect can also be added and enactment of mythological scenes can be added. Since there is already dominance of Black and Orange color associated with Halloween, the same colors would fit well with Ravana’s demons and Rama’ army in exile .
It will provide an opportunity to Hindu community to involve local population to see through Hindu festivity in positive spirit. The trial runs could be conducted in the premises of Hindu temples.
It is just an individual suggestion. More and better ideas can also be tried with open mind after deliberations within the Hindu community. Intentions are to foster harmony and not to injure any one’s feelings.
Chand K Sharma