In this time of the year, when there is no sign of the summer vacation’s tan, and Christmas is still far to be expected, there is one holiday that lifts the spirits up. Literally! For sure, this is Halloween.
The Dutch Halloween is unique at its own.
It is true that is not the place of origin of this tradition. Neither, that it has been adapted as a Dutch tradition. But there is something such as the Dutch Halloween, celebrated on November 11 – The Saint Martin’s Day (no, not the island, but the actual person).
HOW IT ALL BEGAN?
There are many stories regarding the origins of the American-known Halloween. However, the most accredited ones relate it to Celtic traditions dating back to 2,000 years ago.
(don’t forget that The United States of America was first a British colony).
November 1 was considered by Celts as the first day of the new year. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, also associated with the idea of human death.
On the night before, that is the 31, it was thought that the ghosts of the deads would come back to earth and that the two worlds of death and living people would become as one. Besides this, the wandering souls would bring the chaos and create troubles to humans!
What about the Dutch Halloween?
The origins of the Dutch Halloween tradition are not that much different. It is the beginning of the cold dark times when harvest is over, to be waited for the spring. Animals are brought inside for the winter, autumn wine is ready for drinking.
On the Dutch Halloween children make paper latterns (like the portable lamps) to carry around “the light” which is more and more scarce in the winter. The young would go from door to door, and get at last nuts and sweets before the season for them is over.
The holiday of Saint Martin is not about being scary, and it does not celebrate the dead. The celebration of Dutch Halloween is different. Instead, children need to impress with their creative crafts. They also have to sing some very traditional songs to celebrate either St Martin, or to say goodbye to the autumn period.
Although these believes date thousands of years ago, consequently it became a catholic holiday celebrating Saint Martin.
When he was alive, he was an Roman army soldier, but his life pushed him to serve to God. He became remarkable with his ideas and actions, and subsequently pronounced as a Saint.November 11 was the date of his death, which was turned into celebration of the death of the harvest. Saint Martin is now the patron saint of France, but this day is celebrated in other countries, too. Thus, the Dutch Halloween appeared to be more a religious follow-up, than the origins of the tradition aimed for.
Halloween started being celebrated mainly in the USA, but has now become a world-wide phenomenon and, most of all, a business issue.
Did you know that…
One quarter of all the candy sold annually in the U.S. is purchased for Halloween?
That is a lot..
Also, if you are interested in marketing and branding, look at this: “The five best Halloween content marketing campaigns“.
They are funny, scary, innovative, some of them promoting highly not useful things, as DIY storybooks and candy jars. A campaign by LG from 2012 promoted a new TV with life-real colours and motions to bring a heart-attack to the people that were pranked.
Indeed, so much money circulate around this holiday!
Celebrating Halloween it’s a fun thing either if you are a little kid or…a college student! Finding the right disguise, going to scary parties, it’s the best part! Especially after exams’ session.
Thus, here are some tips and tricks to win the “Best costume” prize while spending a little money!
DIY Dutch Halloween!
Do It Yourself is always the right solution when you don’t have much money – NOR TIME – but still want to be in the autumn spirit, and original! And if it works for decorating your house, why shouldn’t it work for Halloween costumes and decorations for a house party?
Probably the first thing to do when you do it yourself, is to look for what you have in the house. Things that you don’t use anymore, old dresses, old t-shirts, blankets etc.- For sure you have something!
…then, transform them and have fun!
■ Zombie: cut your t-shirts, make some holes and use some tomato sauce to make it a little bloody. Everybody knows that zombies love fresh brains!
■ Ghost: the blanket is perfect here, but in order to make it more original, you could use some coffee or tea to make stains on it…and voilà! You are the ghost of a pirate who died during a storm in the middle of the ocean!
■ Crazy butcher: again, use some tomato sauce (or ketchup) and throw it on some old white blankets or t-shirts. If you want, you could also use red lipstick to paint your face with blood stains and your clothes as well.
Mummy: tear your blankets apart and roll yourself up with them! Then use some talco to put “some dust” on you…you want to look as if just came out of a pyramid right?
■ Cotton wool: use it to make fake spider webs! then, distribute them around the house!
■ Toilet paper: take some (from the cheapest one) get it dirty with tomato sauce or coffee or tea, and once it’s dried spread it around.
■ Candles: fundamental to create some atmosphere.
■ Paper or boxes: you don’t have to be an origami’s fan, but still you can draw and cut some spiders or pumpkins and then stick them on the walls.
ALMOST READY FOR THE PARTY….just need some food!
The “vomiting” pumpkin: the name is not very promising but believe me if I say is very cool!
(Here is a picture of my creation from last year. The “vomit” is actually guacamole and the skull cap is fondue).
Small pumpkins invasion: I saw this the other day and found it super nice. It’s mandarins’ season now which means they are very good and cheap. Take a few and, with a marker, draw pumpkin faces on the skin. It will be even funnier to eat them.
Spiders in the egg: boil eggs, cut them in two and then use some black olives to create spiders…
How cool is that?
You are ready for some trick or treats and to eat plenty of candies but don’t forget to wash your teeths before going to bed!