Halloween, also known as All Hallow’s Eve, and Samhain, is a feast with ancient origins celebrated in most countries. Taking place between Autumn and Winter, this day marked the end of summer and the harvest, and the beginning of the dark winter. It was a time to look back at the year and what had been achieved, look back at the people lost along the way, as well as look forward to the hard cold times ahead. With the onset of Christianity, this feast, like many others, was appropriated and re-instated in the liturgical calendar by the Church, yet a number of old traditions and symbolic images attached to Halloween remained.

At present, Malta too celebrates Halloween, though to be fair, this is quite a recent development and is much influenced by the modern American way of celebrating this feast. This year, there are various Halloween-related events taking place around the island, and these cater for different ages, as well as different tastes. Although Halloween officially takes place on October 31st, not all of these events will be taking place on this date.

An example is the cultural activity happening in Valletta on the 27th of October. Entitled ‘Dark Stories of Valletta’, this evening walk around the city promises to reveal interesting stories about mysterious crimes and hauntings which were documented to have taken place around the quirky streets of our historical capital city. The tour will be leaving from in front of Parliament House at 7pm. More information and tickets can be found here – https://ticketengine.faa.org.mt/.

For those who like to dance, the ‘Chamber of Darkness – The Halloween Vampire Ball’, taking place also on the 27th of October, at Palazzo Abela in Tarxien, is the place to be. The evening is aimed at adults and at being an elegant, classy and fun way to enjoy a great time. The dress code is described as being ‘Elegant costumes, creative attire, Victorian, steampunk or formal black tie. Strictly NO cheap rubber masks or plastic accessories allowed.’ Tickets include wine, beer, soft drinks and water, and the doors will be open at 9.30pm. For more information, please visit here.

The 28th of October offers another culturally rich event. This is ‘All Hallow’s Eve at Saint Paul’s Catacombs’, which offers interesting spooky stories, light refreshment, and a night to remember at one of the most ancient sites on the island. The event starts at 7pm and attendees are urged to ready their torches. More info can be found here.

Those who love hard rock and heavy metal will surely already know all about the ‘Halloween Massacre 2017’ which will be taking place on the 4th of November at The Garage Bar in Zebbug. This year will mark the 10th Anniversary from this party’s conception. Great prizes, we are promised, are to be won during the Costume Competition. For more information please visit – https://www.facebook.com/events/305647943186567/.

Apart from an array of Halloween events aimed at adults, Malta also offers a huge number of others for children. Most popular among these is surely the one taking place at Popeye Village. ‘Popeye vs Monsters’ sees the well-known village transformed into a Spooky Halloween playground complete with Haunted House. This will be open from October 28th till November the 5th. More information can be found here.

Specific Maltese localities will be organising even more Halloween activities for children, most notably trick or treating, as well as a number of talent shows. Such localities include Zebbug, Luqa and Dingli. More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/MaltaHalloweenTrickorTreat/ or through the respective Local Council.