A dark frosty autumn evening, full moon is shining - the perfect background setting for All Hallow’s Eve, or Halloween as it is most commonly known. The mysteries of the afterlife have fascinated people throughout history and this is why Halloween presents such a perfect opportunity for a party. This is a night of ghosts, trick-or-treating, bonfires, scary costumes, visiting haunted houses, carving Jack-o'-lanterns, reading ghost stories and watching scary movies. Halloween is celebrated on the …night of October 31. It has its origins in Samhain, which is an ancient Celtic festival celebrated at the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31 the boundary between the living and the dead dissolved and that the dead became dangerous to the living, causing disease and damaging crops. The festivals would involve bonfires and people wore masks in an attempt to either mimic the evil spirits or placate them→
A punch is always nice and as it's Halloween, why not make a spooky version? In this recipe, we use dry ice, which must be handled with care. Never touch the dry ice with your hands or you might get freeze burns. For the kids, leave out the vodka and triple sec!
70 cl vodka
2 l lemon soda
30 cl triple sec
red food colouring
10 canned lychees
1 block of dry ice
Start by making an ice hand. Wash a latex glove and fill it with water. Tie up the end of the glove and freeze. To make the punch, you will need one large punch bowl and one a little smaller. In the smaller bowl, mix the liquids and colour with the red food colouring until you get the desired "blood looking" colour. Put the dry ice in the larger bowl and place the smaller on top. Put the ice hand in the centre of the punch and drizzle with some more colour to make it look like it's bleeding. Put the lychees in the punch and add water to the dry ice just before serving so it will start to boil and smoke.
Spooky music, for a spooky evening.
This is a theme party so everyone should come dressed according to the theme. Witches, vampires, ghosts, skeletons, devils and zombies are some of the most common options Alternatively for the kids, let them make their own costumes. When they arrive, provide them with sheets of coloured crepe paper, tape, string and a stapler, and let them design their own costumes. After dinner, award prizes for the scariest costumes.
There are several games associated with Halloween parties. The most common is bobbing for apples, in which apples float in a tub of water and the participants must use their teeth to remove an apple from the basin. Another popular game involves hanging up syrup-coated scones by strings. These must be eaten without using hands while they remain attached to the string - an activity that leads to very sticky faces. Why not arrange for a pumpkin-carving contest for the kids? Trick-or-treating, is another activity for the kids in which they go from house to house in costumes, asking for treats such as sweets with the question, "Trick or treat?" The "trick" is a threat to play a prank if no treat is forthcoming. Telling ghost stories and watching of horror films are also common Halloween party activities. Make a circle and let everyone tell their own favourite ghost story.
Learn how to carve a pumpkin!
Read more about Halloween tales and ghost stories
The carved pumpkin, lit by a candle inside, is a symbol of Halloween and no Halloween party is complete without it. Many people who celebrate Halloween carve a pumpkin into a frightening or comical face and place it on their home's doorstep after dark. See tips on how to carve the pumpkin under “Activities”. Other tips for creating that eerie feeling to your party, include using fog machines, hanging glow-in-the-dark skeletons, bats and spiders from the ceilings and trees and using mini pumpkins, mini ears of Indian corn, and gourds to decorate your table. Also scoop out mini pumpkins or apples and use them as candleholders.