For the first time in history, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) commemorated an event to celebrate the once-banned festival of Halloween to adapt modernisation under the de-facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
The festival of Halloween, dubbed as “Scary Weekend,” was celebrated on Riyadh’s Boulevard with eventgoers dressed up in scary costumes. The Boulevard was transformed into a venue-wide costume party. Visitors dressed in terrifying disguises were granted free entry.
According to Arab News, one attendee, Abdulrahman, wore a costume of the North American mythological creature Wendigo. Another eventgoer, Khaled Alharbi, attended the event with his family members. This was the family’s first time celebrating Halloween.
The event concluded with a fireworks show, enhanced sound effects, and eerie decorations.
For those unversed, Halloween is a holiday celebrated in America on October 31 where people wear costumes, scary masks, and clothes to mimic ghosts, witches, vampires, skeletons, and other spooky characters.
Halloween is a holiday celebrated in America on October 31 where people wear costumes, scary masks, and clothes to mimic ghosts, witches, vampires, skeletons, and other spooky characters.
The “Scary Weekend” was the second costume-themed event to take place in the KSA capital. Earlier, a masquerade party had taken place on 17 and 18 March.
Although the event allowed revelers to parade their creativity and have fun, the “ultra-modern” event drew criticism from Muslim social media users over allowing and celebrating the once-banned non-Muslim festival.
Earlier in 2018, Saudi police raided a Halloween party and arrested people.
These modern transformations have taken place in the kingdom since the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, started getting rid of social restrictions. The Crown Prince also launched a campaign to develop entertainment options as a new economic sector apart from oil.