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Yearbook Idea: Make a Halloween Party & Costumes Section

Get your costume ready – it’s Halloween!
Photo credit: Flickr CC user Tommy and Georgie

My friends will attest that it doesn’t take much convincing to get me into a costume. If any party has a hint of a theme to it, it’s guaranteed I’ll take it and run with it. So it should come as no big surprise that it is my favorite holiday!

Happy Halloween, America!

I have always looked forward to this day and often have my costume planned out months in advance. I have to admit I’ve slacked off a little in recent years with the pre-planning, but hear me out: San Francisco is the costume party capitol of the world–everyone has a costume closet and can have something prepped and ready to rock at the word “party.” I might not be going as elaborate as my awesome Rockford Peach costume last year, but I have a few ideas up my sleeve for tonight’s festivities.

For me, Halloween is a time where everyone can live out their childhood fantasy of being an astronaut or superhero or fairy princess. The sky is the limit, which means that there’s no limit to the fun yearbook ideas that can be hatched on this day.

Begin by documenting the student’s wild and creative costumes with pictures that can be placed within the pages of the yearbook and on the yearbook’s social media channels. Make sure there is a point person on staff who is responsible for capturing this holiday. You don’t want to miss your chance to capture some colorful, creative and even scary moments through photos because nobody was leading the assignment.

Here in the United States we take Halloween very seriously, from our haunted corn mazes down to trick or treating, and all of this should be documented as well. However, another fun way to highlight Halloween in the year book is with its international history.

Here are some ways that people in other parts of the world celebrate Halloween:

– In Ireland, people eat a traditional cake called a “barnbrack” on Halloween. It has a fruitcake consistency and has a special treat baked into its center that will tell the eater’s future.

– Carved pumpkins are synonymous with Halloween today, but in parts of the United Kingdom, kids gather around to carve–beets and turnips. According to Oddee.com, this tradition stems from the old days when people would carve turnip lanterns to protect their home from evil spirits.

– Many kids leave milk and cookies out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, but in Austria they leave bread out. However, it’s not for Jolly Old Saint Nick. Austrians believe leaving bread and water outside with the lights on will let their dead ancestors know they are welcome.

Why not use the holiday as a teaching point for the student body? Have members of the yearbook staff ask students what Halloween traditions they have with their friends and family. Did they have any idea of the history behind this fun holiday? How have publications, such as yearbooks, expanded their understanding of this holiday? Yearbook ideas don’t need to be limited to entertainment and capturing memories (though they should always include these!). You’re a part of the educational system and as such you can use your spreads to advance student awareness and understanding, while at the same time celebrating all that the holiday means to your student body.

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