Halloween has been around for centuries with traditions that have been absorbed, changed, and celebrated by many different cultures. Halloween can be dated back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain-nearly 2000 years ago! Samhain was like a New Year's Eve in modern times, it was the celebration of the death of the present year with a new year beginning the following day. Samhain morphed into the Christian influenced, All-Hallows Eve on October 31st, with All Souls day or later named All Saint's Day the following day, November 1st. Halloween came into colonial America with the immigration of Europeans who celebrated similar festivals from where they had emigrated from. Now, Halloween is a national and even worldwide celebration!
There are several traditions associated with Halloween, including religious and secular observances. In the United States, common traditions include activities such as costume parties, trick-or-treating, decorating and carving pumpkins, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.
All of us at HCP wish you a happy and safe Halloween! If you are planning on celebrating, decorating, and dressing up in the workplace, we offer the following suggestions.
Always strive to be mindful, respectful, appropriate, and professional with your choices.
- No Grim Reaper aka Death Being in the healthcare setting it would be highly inappropriate to dress up as death or anything else that is violent and grotesque in nature. Sorry Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, or Scream ghost mask guy, this means NO to you!
- Culturally appropriate Avoid offensive costumes. If you suspect anyone could be offended by your choice of costume don't wear it! Don't wear any costume that could be perceived as mocking any religion, ethnicity, political or cultural point of view.
- Age Appropriate Any costume or decoration should be appropriate for all ages to see and enjoy. Whether or not many of your patients are older or younger, they could have accompanying family members who are. Keep the scaring for haunted houses and away from work!
- Dress Code Does your company have a specific dress code for dressing up? If there is one, be sure to review it with employees prior to Halloween. All costumes should be considered dress code appropriate, just like any other workday.
- Functional Can you successfully do your job without interference from your costume? Your costume should in no way affect the professionalism of your field. Never wear masks and avoid costumes that would be difficult to work in for an entire shift.
- Keep it Simple Along with being able to be functional, it is a good rule to keep it simple. A festive shirt, scrubs, scarf, hat, or headband (think kitty, bunny, or bug) can be a great way to celebrate Halloween.
- Be Inclusive If dressing up is permitted, encourage employees to participate. Never force any employee to dress up if they choose not to though. Consider having an office theme for even more fun.
- Decorations If allowed, decorate the office for Halloween and Autumn. Set the tone within the office space and have fun with it! All decorations should be appropriate, just like costumes should be, nothing scary, offensive, or grotesque!
Halloween is meant to be a fun celebration for families and communities, with costumes, delicious treats, and some spooks! It is also the kick-off to the holiday season! Halloween starts it off, with holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, and New Year's Day to follow! Speaking of holidays, did you know there are just over 4 weeks until Thanksgiving and just over 8 weeks until Christmas? Let the countdowns begin