Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve, is the night before All Hallow’s Day or All Saints Day, a Christian feast celebrating Christian saints. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain, which celebrates the transition from summer into winter. Irish immigrants brought the tradition with them to America in the 1800s. Over time, it’s slowly morphed into the celebration we now know today. Trick-or-treating has roots in the medieval English practice of “souling”, in which poor people would go door-to-door offering prayers for All Souls Day in exchange for food.
So why does it polarise Australians so? Is it that we see it as another part of American pop culture that has invaded our shores? Is it an over commercialised excuse for children to binge on sweets and for retailers to take our money? Or is it just harmless fun for all ages to enjoy? For me, it’s a mix of all three. At the end of the day, if people want to dress up and have some fun, why stop them.
If you live in an area heavily populated with children who want to celebrate Halloween, you can indicate your openness to trick-or-treaters by putting up orange and black decorative items. Make sure you take them down when you run out of treats, or you could end up with a few nasty tricks!
If you’re keen to get down with Halloween, here are a few places that could help make your holiday extra spooky:
- Australia Zoo – Enjoy face painting, trick-or-treating and spooky games, while watching the animals enjoy this spooky holiday at this family friendly event.
- Luna Dark – Melbourne’s Luna Park is back with another year of Carn-Evil delights. Enjoy two days and four nights of frights, including the American Horror Story: Roanoke Nightmare (18+ only) and the Zombie Rising Graveyard.
- Fearophobia – Australia’s only scream park is back for its second year running. Open only from the 26th – 31st October, prepare to scream for dear life. Not recommended for persons of weak or nervous disposition.
Décor and Costume
- Lombard – It’s with good reason that Lombard has the moniker of the party people. Everything you could fathom can be found here. You could potentially throw a party good enough to wake the dead.
- Kmart – Want to do Halloween on a budget? Kmart has all the basic to throw an awesome Halloween do. With affordable costumes for all, even your four-legged friends can get involved.
- Cotton on Kids – Got kids who want to get in the spirit but don’t want to go all out? Cotton on Kids has a great selection of low-key options, some even glow in the dark!