I know this because on our run this afternoon we came across at least 5 different groups of trick or treaters trawling the streets for lollies (and cavities).
As we walked off the burn of the leisurely 2.5km amble, we got to thinking “What the heck is Halloween about anyway?” It’s the kind of thing you feel like you should know, but have never bothered to find out. Andy figured it was a Pagan thing. I felt like it had something to do with the Christian ‘All Saints Day’.
So, as today’s community service I thought I’d Google it on behalf of all the ignorant Aussies out there…
… and, as it turns out, we were both right!
Halloween is celebrated on ‘All Hallows Eve’ (i.e. the eve of All Saints Day), however “many scholars” believe it was originally influenced by Western European harvest festivals and pagan rituals. Nobody really knows how that equates to teenage girls the world over dressing up as “sexy mice” to mark the occasion, but far be it for me to question long-held tradition.
Halloween has always been a bit of a non-event in Oz (at least in any of the parts I’ve lived). Back in the old days I remember my parents turning kids away at the door because Halloween was a North American tradition and they didn’t believe in it. It seems harsh in hindsight, but the kids barely bothered to don a witch’s hat so it you might say they got their “just desserts”… <*insert evil cackle here*>
As the years have gone by I’ve noticed more and more Aussies embracing the tradition. In our Neighbourhood in Sydney’s Inner West there are a number of houses adorned with faux spider webs, carved pumpkins, and even one house with a spiked fence decorated with skulls and spooky “Caution” tape. The costumes on the trick or treaters have involved more discernible effort, and cavities will no doubt be rife tonight.
Living in a flat we’re not expecting many visitors (despite living in number 13), which is just as well considering we have nothing to offer. My Aunty has sav blanc up for grabs at her house, so you’re all probably better off heading there anyway. We really are all very half-hearted about the whole thing as a nation, but it’s nice to see this community-spirited festival take hold house-by-house.
As for me, there’s one Aussie street I’d love to trick or treat on. It’s a street I visited just days ago, in the oft-forgotten Melbourne suburb of Vermont South…
My nephew providing the perfect decoy as I case the Kennedys’ joint…
Yes, I am a Neighbours tragic, and I’ve wanted to visit the street every single time I’ve been to Melbourne (which has to be upwards of 15 visits by now and at least 15 disappointments). In spite of her own hesitations on the matter, my sister-in-law was kind enough to take us there, and even loaned me her son to act as a decoy from the security guard pulled up at Lucas and Vanessa’s house.
It was quite the detour but well worth it in my opinion, and on this ‘All Hallow’s Eve’, I give it 10 pumpkins.
Did you celebrate Halloween this year?