If you want to contribute your own Sri Lankan costume ideas, use the hashtag #PickMeHalloweenChallenge on Twitter or Facebook to share.
It’s been a while since we put together our last compilation of scary Halloween costumes. In the meanwhile, Sri Lanka has got plenty more to be afraid of, whether it’s inflation, dengue, or that overbearing aunty who tells you how much you’ve “put on” at every wedding. We’ve compiled a little list of alternative Halloween costume ideas that embody true fear and loathing in the paradise island. Be warned, almost all of these costume ideas make for supremely annoying party guests.
Put on a snazzy kurta, some beads, and a beatific expression. Then proceed to threaten people that Mercury will ruin their wedding or election if they don’t pay you sufficiently. You can also ask them which month they were born in, say “interesting”, and then just trail away looking worried.
The Gym Boy
Wear a miniscule vest, maybe some spandex, and walk around brandishing a vile-tasting protein shake. Say words like “fitspo” and “reps” a lot to intimidate people and call them “haters” if they say they can see your nipple. This is pretty easy to pull off, unless you’re an actual gym boy. Then go as Ranjan Ramanayake instead.
A good one for the slightly zaftig men, Kumbhakarna was Ravana’s less famous, less saucy brother. He’s basically famous for being asleep for months on end. So go shirtless, wear a bejewelled sarong and moustache. Then just curl up for a long nap at every party you attend. It’s extra useful if you have a friend who is going as Ravana. Loudly call him “bro” in between naps for extra clarification. Recommended for snorers.
Cost of Living
Easily the scariest one on our list. Wear your normal clothes, then stick a couple of grocery bills and empty rice bags to yourself. You may want to also stick a sign saying “cost of living” in case people naturally assume you’re meant to be a garbage can. Maintain a bleak expression at all times.
Also known as a “hungry ghost”, the perethaya is a ghost of a person who was exceptionally greedy (emotionally or physically) during their life, and is now doomed to a reincarnation of perpetual hunger. It’s a triple whammy, as you can choose to reference Buddhism, or Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, or Shyam Selvadurai, depending on who you’re explaining your costume to. Just wear a white sheet, and keep whacking the buffet.
A twist on our beloved neighbourhood Grease Yaka, this demon steals your sovereign funds as opposed to your virginity. Just wrap yourself up in a bed sheet to resemble a toga, and slather yourself in olive oil. And if the party goes exceptionally well, you’ll get to use both of those at the end of the night. Instead of a laurel, stick some betel leaves in your hair to look like yaka ears.
If you have a lover or bestie who would be enthusiastic about couples costumes, you could consider these. At least now if you get shunned for your punnery, you have a partner in shame. Most of these aren’t scary, but perhaps the thought of adults going in matching costumes is scary enough.
Bus & Frotteur
A throwback to our first Sri Lankan & Scary article from the heyday of 2012, this is a fun and slimy way to celebrate your friendship/ romance. One person is the bus (maybe just stick a photo of a multicoloured Lanka Ashok Leyland to your shirt if you’re lazy), and the other person is the frotteur – preferably a dude who wears normal clothes but just winks, leers, and dirty dances on people at the party without their consent. (JOKE. DO NOT DO THIS)
Roast paan and pol sambol
The final word in Lankan culinary pairing. White shirt and brown pants should work for roast paan, and some sort of speckled reddish-orange outfit should do for pol sambol. People will quail in the light of your eternal bond, and also probably be confused by your vague costume unless you have explanatory signs.
Sanga and Mahela
Wear Lankan cricket team t-shirts, and go everywhere together. Once in a while, say something cute about each other, and offer to cater fresh and expensive crab curry to the next party. If you have significant others (if you’re not already a couple), leave them at home and out of the limelight.