Halloween, between tradition and business, this festival has not said its last word. With a history of more than 2500 years, it has been forged over time by many events. This holiday in tribute to the deceased has traveled through time and borders to become the Halloween we know so well. Even today, this event continues to reinvent itself to adapt to the global context….
Halloween, a tradition in a disturbing context
The halloween festival is about Samain, an ancient Celtic and Gallic festival. Originally it was celebrated to welcome the new year of the lunar calendar and the spirits of the deceased. It was punctuated by all kinds of mystical rituals and a great feast. The aim is to open a bridge between the world of the living and the world of the dead in the new year. It was a mandatory party that took place over a period of 7 days. It was also political, military and commercial. It almost disappeared due to the influences of Christianity which did not recognize pagan rites. Imported to the United States by the Irish in the 1846s, during potato disease, the Halloween party was transformed and democratized. This is how we see the hunt for candy from door to door (1).
Between frames and cancellations, will Halloween take place?
This year, following this special period, the Halloween party must once again adapt to its context. Indeed, the latter which seems scarier than monsters and spirits. While the New Aquitaine region is not currently in the areas most affected by COVID-19, the situation does not appear to be improving. The incidence rate increased from 98.6 (per 100,000 population) to 115.2 in one week (2). In view of the contamination and the spread of the virus, the prefecture of Gironde is extending the measures in force in the department. She announces that the Halloween party will not be celebrated.
Last year, adapted measures were put in place but they are considered insufficient this year… Indeed, the prefecture had taken the lead in framing Halloween. The aim was to avoid any possible risks associated with the party. Two orders therefore supervised the sale of fireworks or alcohol products.
The same goes for the city of Arcachon, which finds itself forced to cancel all events around the festival. It’s a decision that remains bitter. Every year, the city has a habit of organizing games, workshops, decorated pumpkin contests or a candy harvest at all the merchants of the city. It is a moment of playful celebration between terror and conviviality that energizes the city. Residents are deprived of f this year.
Halloween otherwise in 2020, to maintain the business effect
Halloween unfortunately falls in the middle of the pandemic of COVID-19, the situation is all the more uncertain following the curfew. We are also waiting for the next announcements following the second wave of the virus, now very present. These events lead to a clear drop in sales for costume stores. This year consumers are not thinking about going to the stores to pick a suit. It’s a blow to these stores. Indeed they make a large part of their turnover at Carnival and Halloween. Indeed, the party being cancelled which many cities specialized stores are likely to end up with large stocks on their hands.
However, although COVID-19, prevents activities due to physical distance and to prevent the spread of the virus there are also other ways to celebrate Halloween. It is quite possible to meet in a select committee around a traditional horror film. Especially since streaming platforms like Netflix are adapting their offerings to offer a catalogue of horror movies adapted to the occasion. Thus, classics of cinema like Shining, or the Gremlins are viewable to give themselves shivers with family directly from his couch.
It is also possible to celebrate Halloween in virtual reality, thanks to Virtual Room Bordeaux. Virtual Room offers original experiences between the escape game and cinema while combining reflection, communication and team spirit (3). This year you can play as a team of zombies that will have to fight to ensure the supremacy of its species.
Thus the Halloween party has passed through the ages by adapting to each of them. This year, it still has to adapt to the situation to maintain the economy that has been forged all around. We are seeing a new way to celebrate Halloween thanks to virtual reality and virtual Room’s offering.