Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 28 November 2020

Coronavirus: UAE parents get creative to ensure Halloween is Covid-19 safe

From sanitised bags of sweets to trick or treating at home, families are adapting to the Covid-19 age to keep the holiday celebrations alive

Marina Innes, a British mum of triplets, will celebrate at home this year. Courtesy: Marina Innes 
Marina Innes, a British mum of triplets, will celebrate at home this year. Courtesy: Marina Innes 

From sanitised bags of sweets to trick or treating at home, UAE parents are getting creative to make the most of Halloween during a pandemic.

The rise of Covid-19 has raised questions about whether it is possible to safely carry out the beloved rituals associated with the holiday.

Some families in the Emirates said children will not go door-to-door in fancy dress this year this year to collect sweets, as coronavirus concerns persist.

But parents are organising safe ways for their children to celebrate the occasion.

This year we’re doing a scavenger hunt inside the house

Carolina Rodriguez

Marina Innes, a British mum of triplets who will turn three in December, is a big fan of Halloween, and usually sells dozens of costumes for kids on her occasion wear shop on Amazon.ae, Smashing Bumpkins.

She chose not to do so this year as she does not want to encourage people to go door-to-door trick or treating in the current climate.

“I deliberately didn’t do Halloween, because I don’t want to get people to get excited and be part of something I don’t agree with,” she said.

Her family will celebrate at home in Abu Dhabi instead.

“We will decorate the doors in the house and we can knock on the doors. I’ve ordered Halloween cupcakes for a tea party,” she said.

Many families are taking similar steps to ensure the popular tradition is marked safely.

“We’re having trick or treat through our own house,” wrote one member of the Abu Dhabi Q&A Facebook group in a discussion on the topic.

“The children will knock on each bedroom door to be greeted by a character who’ll give them a game to play to earn their treat.”

But some communities are customising trick or treating to make it Covid-19-safe.

“In our compound a few houses have signed up to pin individual bags of wrapped and sanitized sweets to their fence or gate for kids to do a treasure hunt,” wrote another member of the group.

Carolina Rodriguez, 33, from the US, said Halloween is a highly anticipated date for her family, who would normally all dress up to go out trick or treating. But they will not do so this year.

“The kids are used to getting buckets full of candy,” said Ms Rodriguez, who lives in Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi.

Parents will have to get creative this year when it comes to celebrating Halloween. Unsplash
Parents will have to get creative this year when it comes to celebrating Halloween. Unsplash

“This year we’re doing a scavenger hunt inside the house. They will still dress up and we’ll end the night with a scary movie and pizza.”

Others are doing something different altogether.

“Normally we go to friends’ compounds or buildings where they have trick or treating,” said Kelly Al Muhairi, from the UK, who lives in Mohamed bin Zayed City, Abu Dhabi.

But this year her family will attend a brunch instead.

“It's socially distanced but at least they will feel like they are doing something different,” she said.

Anna McCormack, 39, who lives in Yas Acres on Yas Island in the capital, said her community is doing a treasure hunt.

“The kids can find pictures we’ll be putting up in different locations and fill up a bingo card,” she said.

“Parents can decide if they get treats for each sign they see or at the end.”

She said she heard of other communities planning on ‘booing’ each other, where they leave a box of Halloween goodies at neighbours’ doors with a note saying they have been booed.

Anyone who receives a box puts a note up to say they have been booed, and they go on to pay it forward.

“I thought that was super-cute,” she said.

Updated: October 29, 2020 06:26 PM

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