Halloween celebrations in Africa are a completely foreign concept. Were it not for globalization, many Africans would not even know of the celebrations of All Hallows’ Eve. In Africa so far, no country has earmarked October 31st to recognize Halloween. Foreign envoys from the West, however, mark the day with festivities at their embassies, which in turn has influenced a number of Africans to also celebrate the holiday. Many who were raised abroad then came back to the Continent also celebrate Halloween due to exposure to Western culture. Some of the African countries in which Halloween celebrations have gained traction are Kenya, South Africa, and Ghana.
Halloween Celebrations in African Countries
In Ghana, October 31st is marked by parties, costumes, and a lot of drinking. Trick or treating for children has however not yet become the norm as this concept is foreign to African culture. The whole concept of tricking one’s neighbor simply because they refused to give out a treat can land a child in serious trouble as this is considered to be disrespectful. While this is also the case in Kenya and South Africa, trick or treating is slowly gaining ground in these countries. In Kenya, celebrations are marked with parties and drinking. Dressing up in costumes is also witnessed, but Halloween celebrations are still seen as events for the elite in society and not for the common man. Many Kenyans are not aware of the celebrations, but the ever-changing entertainment scene is slowly introducing the event to the population. Not surprisingly, in South Africa the day is not a candy-themed holiday, though trick or treating is gaining momentum. albeit slowly.
Africans generally take Halloween as a fun day for dressing up and going out for a good time. Many do not associate the day with its original intended purpose given that the day nowadays is known for costumes and partying across the world. In all these African countries, different events are organized to mark the day. From beach parties, bus tours, zombie festivals and restaurants changing their menus to add that touch of Halloween, the event is gaining popularity by the day. Many are also organizing individual parties to mark the celebrations.
Given that Halloween is still a foreign concept for most Africans, there are few places many can go to get their costumes. Online shopping has however eased the process of getting a costume. Many prefer to rock traditional African costumes, but the costume selection is changing rapidly. From dressing up like celebrities, cartoon characters, movie characters, and many others, Halloween fans can whip up amazing costumes.