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RIYADH: The scary season festivities have begun in Riyadh after the boulevard was transformed into a site-wide costume party during the “Scary Weekend” event, which took place on Thursday and Friday.

Disguised visitors were granted free entry to the boulevard provided they wore spooky costumes.

The event was dedicated to showcasing terrifying costumes and showcasing the creative creations of Saudis and residents. The goal was to create an atmosphere filled with fun, thrills, and excitement as people uncovered the stories behind various character costumes.

One participant, Abdulrahman, presented a costume of the North American mythological creature Wendigo. Legend says the folk creature is a malevolent spirit that possesses human beings, appeals to feelings of greed and hunger, and cannibalizes people, feeding on their flesh. It was the first time that Abdulrahman celebrated Halloween in the country.

“It’s a big party, honestly, and there’s a spirit of joy… In terms of haram or halal, I don’t know. We celebrate it just for fun and nothing else. We don’t believe in anything,” he told Arab News.

While Halloween has long been shunned across the Gulf, event attendees have described the occasion as a harmless form of entertainment.

A viewer, Khaled Alharbi, said: “Actions are based on intentions. I’m just here to have fun.

Alharbi came with his family, with members dressed as bloodied doctors, nurses and consultants. They created a backstory behind their costumes, arriving on the boulevard just in time for the biggest costume party in town. Alharbi carried a two-year-old family member dressed as a witch, who cast a madness spell on the rest of the family.

It was also the first time the family celebrated Halloween.

Nearby sat another witch with fluffy red hair and a party hat, accompanied by her friend, dressed as Catwoman. Sitting on a sidewalk, completing their costumes with temporary tattoos, the two told Arab News about their experience.

“I tried to create a mix of jewelry and eyeliner tattoos. I think makeup also inspires me. It’s my first time celebrating Halloween. Last year, I missed the date, so I won’t miss it this time,” said the witch, Ameera.

The couple added that the event was a great opportunity to express their creativity and celebrate with the Saudi public. Both work at a hospital and said dressing up is a great way to relieve stress and have fun.

“I support him. There is an energy inside of us – we have to let it out. This celebration is the place to channel that energy. If there is someone who is really creative and talented, who has a wild imagination, he can let it out nowadays. For example, through drawing or cinematic makeup,” Ameera said.

Another participant, Abdulaziz bin Khaled, decided to portray his love for Western films and zombie gore, combining the two as he dressed as a rotting cowboy carrying a sign that read: “Be careful, c is a zombie”.

Bin Khaled said, “It’s my favorite genre of film: cowboys, American wars, horror films and westerns. I love Denzel Washington’s movie “The Magnificent Seven”.

“This is the second costumed event they’ve organized at the Boulevard. It’s really awesome and all the young men and women are dressed in amazing costumes. Everyone is creating cool things inspired by movies and horror and others. It’s so good that we can see this during the Riyadh season,” he added.

The event was complete with fireworks, enhanced sound effects and spooky decorations. A similar event took place earlier this year at Boulevard Riyadh City and Winter Wonderland on March 17-18.

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