The spirit of Halloween, celebrated in the West, is catching on in Indian cities as well, and commercial establishments are also cashing in on the trends revolving around the Christian festival. Mumbai is also witnessing the trend. Celebrated on October 31, the festival marks the beginning of the observance of the Allhallowtide, the time to remember dead saints, martyrs and other loved ones.
With the festival falling on a weekday this year, Mumbai witnessed an early Halloween celebration. “There was a time when people were not aware about these festivals associated with western culture. However, it is now becoming a trend where, irrespective of their origin, people want to celebrate the festivals here, very often inspired by popular culture,” said Rahul Chaudhary, organiser, The Camp, which held a Halloween Night Camp this year.
Organised in Lonavala near Pavana lake from Saturday night till Sunday morning, people dressed in Halloween costumes shared ghost stories by the bonfire through the night. The organisers also provided them with costumes and paints.
Chaudhary, who is organising a Halloween party for the first time, felt that people were looking for an alternative to the indoor parties generally conducted in clubs.
“Halloween parties are generally organised indoors and many people do not prefer them due to the crowd. Our camp is ideal for those who are looking for more space and an alternative to spend quality time with family or friends,” added Chaudhary.
Meanwhile, Drinksonme organised a pub crawl for nightlife lovers in the city on Saturday. For a sum of Rs 499, patrons, dressed in Halloween attire, could enjoy ‘Happy Hours’ from 7.30 pm to 1 am. “We organised the pub crawl for the third time this year. Beginning at Independence Brew Co, we moved to Bombay Cocktail Bar and finally ended at The Little Door,” said Sanchit Gupta, the organiser.
Halloween parties were organised across pubs and lounges in the city and restaurants served Halloween-based food. Dishes like Spooky Chilli Cheese Toast Fingers, The Drunken Spider, Pumpkin Ghosts and Chudail Ka Brain Masala popped onto the menu of city eateries.
Meanwhile, the US Consulate General in Mumbai organised a celebration on Friday evening for the families of the American and local staff and their guests. Consul General Edgard Kagan, dressed as a pirate, and his wife Cynthia, who wore the costume of a witch, hosted their guests who enjoyed traditional Halloween crafts and games, as well as a costume parade and contest, before trick-or-treating around the consulate campus as soon as it was dark. “Whether it’s your first Halloween or your fiftieth, who can resist these cute kids and the wonderful costumes they have created?” said Consul General Kagan. “After enjoying so many of India’s stunning festivals over these past few months, it is especially fun to bring a small taste of a traditional American Halloween to our staff in Mumbai.”