Halloween in Pakistan

Posted on October 31, 2006
Filed Under >S.A.J. Shirazi, Society
25 Comments
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Guest Post by S A J Shirazi

Halloween is celebrated on the night of October 31, most notably by children dressing in costumes and going door-to-door collecting sweets. Halloween originated among the Celts in Ireland, Britain and France as the Pagan Celtic harvest festival, Samhain and now it has become a part of American pop culture.

The festival has recently become popular with children and young people in Pakistan and is especially celebrated in Lahore with delicious food and music. The Daily Times carries a report on Haloween preparations in Lahore:

Yaseen Salman, an event organizer, said that Pakistanis had localized Halloween. Children in the West went trick-or-treating door-to-door in fancy costumes, he said, but Pakistanis arranged get-togethers, dance parties, concerts and sometimes horror shows. Restaurants and cafes also arrange special events to celebrate the festival. Saleem Aslam from Cafe Nouvelle on MM Alam Road said the cafe had arranged a number of games to celebrate Halloween. Only couples would be allowed in the restaurant on the night, he said, “to prevent trouble”….

The dress code had been decided, Saleem said, and caramel mouse cakes, apples in sweet syrup and cocoa butter with icing sugar were the new arrivals at Halloween. Mehreen Syed, a model, said she had been invited by a number of friends which showed that the western festival was now becoming popular in Pakistan. “Black, orange, purple, green and red are the common colors on Halloween accompanied by scary masks,” she said. Popular model Neha said she celebrated the event in a casual way. “I hang out with friends, go out for dinner or arrange a Halloween party at my house.”

Like so many other western cultural the trend, Halloween is becoming popular in Pakistan. What is your take on this?

S A J Shirazi is a Lahore (Pakistan) based writer. His blog is called Light Within, where a version of this post first appeared.

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25 responses to “Halloween in Pakistan”

  1. shadows2050 says:

    @ A concerned PAKISTANI October 30th, 2009 5:44 pm

    You are acting in the stereotyped paranoid way that the world and even many in our own beloved country have come to associate with the Holy Men of Islam. All you care about is that people have no fun so that you can turn them towards the life after death……but hear ye………you are in for a big surprise……you are turning in to worm food just like every human being ever born.
    Do not misunderstand me; I have no problem in agreeing to disagree. My sole point is create or invigorate something that is practical and fun to take part in for the youth and let Allah decide if He wants to turn peoples’s hearts to it. Are you so proud that you think Allah’s best religion needs people like you poking their nose into everything good and wholesome? If you believe Halloween is the Devil’s birthday or something to the same tune let Allah turn hearts….do not force anyone.

  2. A concerned PAKISTANI says:

    audhubillah..
    may Allah guide you ppl to the right path ameen..please be educated about the wrong doings this holiday accosts..this is highly displeasurable in the eyes of Allah your Lord..do not waste your time with customs and rituals of the kafirs..please open your eye to the sunnah and the message of your given deen..you are soooooo blessed to ahve islam..a guide to Jannah and you’re throuwing it away..and veering to the wrong path..the path that goes towards hellfire (jahanam). please do not fall into the shirk and evil acts of this nor any other western holiday that is shunned by islamic creed. do not take this lightly ..and connect yourself with the QURAN..the greatest gift to humkind.

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  4. Jehan says:

    Halloween is a lot of fun for both adults and kids alike. As a child, it was all about the candy. I would look forward to it all year! As an adult, it is still fun to dress up in a costume and pretend to be someone else for a few hours. It is harmless. I’ve often heard that there is no leisure outlet for Pakistanis. This lack of activity is often blamed for the hordes of people that go on shop looting, car burning sprees whenever a crisis unfolds. Why be apposed to a harmless and fun festival in a place where this is obviously needed.

  5. Zeeshan says:

    Today is Friday 31-10-2008. I just tunned in to geo radio on internet sitting in my apartment in a porsch suburb of melbourne, australia. I have spent 8 years in this country and have never seen or heard anyone celebrating halloween!

    I am amazed to hear that at this moment halloween is being celebrated in pakistan. It is such a SHAMEFUL thing to hear that at time of such crisis in our country, people are celebrating halloween! Am i the only sane person who is shocked to listen to all this crap. Honestly where is our culture, where are our values? what is happening to us?

    If channles like AAJ / Geo and other major names would be promoting this kind of crap then i believe yes we are a doomed nation.

    If we can’t pray 5 times a day and can’t be a good muslim then atleast we shouldn’t make fool of our religion! Dont take me wrong, my wardrobe have its share of gucci’s, versace’s and hugo’s, but all i am try to say is there is a limit to everything. Please Please Please i beg to my people and my nation not to lose our culture and most importantly our religion as there is nothing better then this in this world.

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