Halloween in Pakistan

Posted on October 31, 2006
Filed Under >S.A.J. Shirazi, Society
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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.

25 responses to “Halloween in Pakistan”

  1. Ghalib says:

    well i read the posts first of all people try to be assertive of their comments.be general and accept others views and start a thread.well halloween y ppl have reservation for it is from west?yes true but is it worth celebrating? i guess no cause many in pakaistan cant not becozof religion juss becoz of the poverty they face.so the ppl that oppose it defend themselves thru the name RELIGION.juss like when ever theres a talk abt women the second sentence is abt ISLAM:)keep it real!!!i think by having halloween will just make the pciture worse creates a social class structure who can celebrate(or who will) an those who cant!y incooporate something that we are living without.same is with basant its not hinduism its juss tht its a division tht some can celebrate it and some loose their life on roads chasing the DOOORS and GUDDAY while we the ppl over the net another social class are dancing on the roof tops BOO KATTA!and …this class orientation is forbidden in islam a religion of togetherness.basant and halloween puts constraints on parents plus children as many(an i mean it billions)cant afford it y to add another thing to their misery!now be general that those who cant shudnt!!!thts not an excuse!division in society can just bring hatred when all we can do is to promote love with what ever we have in the plate!i hope u got my point.Religion doesnt say you not to enjoy it tell u to enjoy BUT with a sense that our actions dont cause pain in some one heart!Halloween isnt just our culture basant is but we all know wat happens there?its not progression to celebrate a thing that u have to tell people about and commenting by sitting from abroad like ma self isnt gud enuff when the ground reality is too bleak and more than 60% ppl just trying to maintain their standard of living and things like just put unwanted constraints on them.in usa u can enjoy the stuff as its part of the culture fer so long but in our society tht has culture/religion and many dilemmas its best to keep away froma thing that we can live without!there are many other gud things that our children can enjoy and be progressive!

  2. Kashif says:

    Circumcision is not a pagan practice. It has been made obligatory on all people of Books. Prophet Mohammad (saw) has not invented anything, He was the last in chain of divine messengers, sent for guidance of this world. He taught things already disseminated by previous prophets (salat, hajj, umrah, zakat, qurbani to name a few). It is not correct to say circumision is a pagan practice and quote unauthentic sources for that. There is so much information on the internet that people often get overloaded and lost their sense of right and wrong.

  3. Asma says:


    Hence Happy halloween and Merry christmas!

  4. Kabir says:

    [quote post=”392″]Government should abolish all discriminatory laws against Pakistani women and declare that day as Pakistani Mother’s Day.[/quote]

    zamanov great thought. Logistically speaking it is not possible until the religion is separated from state affairs. The religion and state sectors must function in alignment but separately. This will also serve a better environment for the religious sector by letting them focus on true issues of the Ummah in conjunction with the OIC and other related global entities.

  5. zamanov says:

    One of the big reasons people (especially the youth) in Pakistan start celebrating festivals and days that are considered Western is because of the mess that has been created in Pakistan of the existing festivals and celebratory days. Prime example is the Eid joke that was played throughout the country and the loss of any real celebratory fervour for other more secular holidays.

    The younger generations see the fun and celebrations of Halloween, Valentines and Independence Day in so many Western countries and naturally feel no reason for them to be left out as long as they can afford it and convince their peers and friends to celebrate along with them.

    Celebrating days which promote children and youth to have fun, distribute sweets, and socialize with their friends and family are usually harmless and if the ‘elders’ are so scared of Western values and days taking over their youth, they need to revisit how they celebrate Eid, Independence Day, Pakistani Mother’s Day, etc. in order for these kids to get more excited and celebrate them with equal fervour.

    In fact, to start with the Government should abolish all discriminatory laws against Pakistani women and declare that day as Pakistani Mother’s Day. We can all celebrate it by giving that day off to every woman in Pakistan. That includes a complete holiday from housework, jobs, and clean up duties. Let’s celebrate that for a day!


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