Halloween was commemorated in Saudi Arabia with crowds of people attending a party in the country’s capital, Riyadh, dressed in spooky attire.
As part of the continuing Riyadh Season, the “Scary Weekend” event was held on Thursday and Friday at Riyadh’s Boulevard.
The Boulevard was transformed into a costume party with free admission for dressed-up guests as long as they donned frightful attire.
The purpose of the event was to display horrifying disguises and display locals’ and Saudis’ inventive creations. The intention was to create an environment that was enjoyable, thrilling, and exciting as visitors learned the backstories of the various character outfits.
One attendee, Abdulrahman, showcased a costume of the North American mythological creature Wendigo. The legend says that the folkloric creature is a malevolent spirit that possesses human beings, calls on feelings of greed and hunger, and cannibalises people, feeding on their flesh. This was Abdulrahman’s first time celebrating Halloween in the country.
“It’s a great celebration, honestly, and there’s a spirit of joy… in terms of haram or halal, I don’t know about it. We celebrate it just for the fun of it and nothing else. We don’t believe in anything,” he told Arab News.
While Halloween has long been shunned across the Gulf, attendees at the event described the occasion as a form of harmless entertainment.
One eventgoer, Khaled Alharbi, said: “Actions are based on intentions. I’m just here to have fun.”
Alharbi came with his family, with members dressed as a bloodied doctor, nurse and consultant. They created a backstory behind their costumes, arriving at the Boulevard just in time for the city’s biggest costume party. Alharbi carried a two-year-old family member dressed as witch, who playfully cast an insanity spell on the rest of the family.
This was also the family’s first time celebrating Halloween.