A conclave of witches, zombies, fairies and Greek goddesses was held at a Andheri hotel on Sunday, the eve of Halloween, which will be observed on Monday.
Complete with carved pumpkins, peaked witches’ hats and skeletons, Wiccans in the city celebrated the Witches’ New Year a day earlier. Wicca, a religion amalgamated from Irish, Hindu, and other traditions believing in the energies of nature, celebrates Halloween as Samhain, a time of vibrant energies in the atmosphere.
“We do not consider it to be an excuse to drink alcohol or just party. It is a ritual where the real-life ‘witches’ will give offerings to the dead as it is also a symbol of renewal,” said Sangeeta Krishnan, founder, Astralhub, an online community of Wiccans and occult-lovers. “While 10 years ago, there were only a handful of members; today, we have more than 400 committed Wiccans in the city.”
Falling in between the September equinox and the winter solstice, Halloween marks the move from summer to winter as per the Gaelic pagan tradition where it originates.
While Krishnan and her fellow Wiccans brought in Halloween in a religious manner, Sarakshi Rai, 19, a resident of Andheri, considers Halloween to be a “fun costume party”.
Having specially ordered her party costume from Delhi, Rai will have her friends over at her place for her first Halloween party on October 31. “I will be dressed as a naughty nun, while my friends will be in the costumes of cowgirls, aliens and witches,” said Rai.