Last year in Singapore, I discovered the delights of Halloween. It was the first time in my entire life that I was part of a family that carved a pumpkin! We lit candles so the faces glowed, enjoying the very balmy evening. Earlier in the week, we visited the famous night zoo, where a scary root veg manifested from a pretend veggie patch to scare us all (okay, just me) with a ‘hooo, hoo, hoo.’
It was fun.
As a member of Livejournal, I’ve chatted with a few friends from the US over the past five years. They were surprised about my attitude to Halloween, which pretty much amounted to huh? before our trip to Asia coincided with the even last year.
Australians don’t really do Halloween. We have known it exists forever, the history behind it, the link it has to All Saints Day or Reformation Day, but we don’t celebrate it. I remember when I first lived in this house, a couple of kids came round just before dusk one Halloween saying ‘trick or treat’, wanting stuff, and there was a call from someone in the neighbourhood to ‘turn the sprinklers on them!’
That wasn’t Mac or I, of course.
In fact, if you ‘Tricked or Treated’ when we were kids, you’d parents would probably have been called by the neighbourhood sticky-beak and told that you were watching too much American television. That you should be out in the vacant block next door, climbing trees, finding redback spiders, stubbing your toes in your thongs, playing hopscotch or elastics or jacks or footy.
Stone the bloody crows, Nora! None of this ‘Trick or Treating’, ffs. Strewth!
The world is a much smaller place now. Australia is amazingly multi-cultural and the majority are accepting (sometimes, welcoming) of international traditions and celebrations. The kids have seen the concept of ‘trick or treat’ on the internet, in film, on TV, and some of our shops stock Halloween-styled paraphernalia.
Sharing LiveJournal, Facebook and the blogging world with people from Canada, the US and UK has opened my eyes to the amazing fun to be had on such an eve. Amy from Never-True Tales is a huge aficionado of all things Halloween and most years she posts these wonderful things, smells, images, stories, songs, costume about the ‘holiday’. You can really feel the fondness she and her family (and other LJ friends) have for this time of year. One day, perhaps we will be in the US in October to bring a little bit of Australiana to Halloween — ‘Pumpkins with friggin’ faces? Knocking on doors dressed up like fruitcakes? You’ve gotta be bloody jokin’, mate!’
Halloween 2010 is a little spark of excitement at our house, but we have to start somewhere. We have a special menu planned for tomorrow night. We went to a library story-telling after close last night (which was AWESOME, because while the kids were read scary stories, I got to walk around the deserted library shelves all to MYSELF! I *heart* this part of Halloween). We will watch the original Disney ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ from 1958 on Sunday night.
But trick or treating? Well it isn’t quite cricket down here yet.