Does Halloween Matter In Australia?

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Does Halloween Matter In Australia?

Most Australians my age learnt about Halloween through dubious US TV specials. But is that always going to be the case?

Picture by Kate Raynes-Goldie

In the run-up to October 31, there’s always a steady stream of posts from the Lifehacker US site detailing Halloween tricks, time savers and construction projects. For the most part, we tend to ignore them here at Lifehacker Australia, just as we do with posts for Thanksgiving, Fourth Of July and other US-centric celebrations.

However, a quick walk around any shopping centre suggests that Halloween can’t be dismissed quite as quickly as that these days. Supermarkets, newsagencies and discount stores are filled with Halloween-themed costumes and trinkets, and I can’t imagine they’d give up so much space if people weren’t buying the stuff. There’s not much of a tradition of trick-or-treating (and I can’t see helicopter parents embracing one any time soon), but I suspect it would be a more difficult week than usual to try and hire a costume. It looks like Halloween has made some impact on our national consciousness.

So I’m wondering what our readers think. Has Halloween now become a major event for Australians, or should we just continue to ignore it? Share your thoughts (and your Halloween plans, spooky or otherwise) in the comments.

Comments

    • So many commenters are hailing Halloween as an American holiday, yet it’s been a part of British tradition for many years. Certainly I remember dressing up a quarter century ago and trick or treating under the guidance of my parents.

      Now that I’m the Dad and living in Australia, we’re into our second year of Halloween parties. All of the other parents who join us say they’ve wanted to do something for the kids but didn’t know what to do.

      I’ll write another ‘halloween hacker’ comment later on detailing how we put together a party that’s enjoyed by all.

      For the record, I live in an old part of Toowoomba where many people have lived for generations. There’s been no resistance from people who are as Australian as they come — they see the fun that’s to be had and join in the spirit of things.

    • Actually, it’s a Celtic tradition. Why does everyone think it’s American? P.S. for the “it’s un-Australian” crowd, neither is Vegemite anymore, it’s owned by Kraft, an American company…

      • They bought an Australian food. They sell an Australian food. In my opinion it’s still Australian. Doesn’t change the origin of where it’s from.

  • Me and my friends usually have a house party. We do a Christmas themed one for Halloween, and a halloween themed Christmas party. We don’t do trick or treating or anything lame like that – but who could deny themselves the opportunity to have a piss-up at a mates place while dressed like video game characters?

  • Does it matter? Nope. Should we ignore it? maybe.

    I’m an american living over here. My aussie wife and I celebrate Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July and even Hallowe’en every year. Think about it:

    Thanksgiving: stripped of its dubious ‘history’, this is atually a good excuse to reflect on you, your family, and your place in the world.

    Hallowe’en: As far as I’m concerned, any holiday that encourages silly fun — and potentially scandalous costumes — gets my vote.

    Fourth of July: oh goodness. Since when do Aussies ever need a reason to celebrate the British having their teeth kicked in?

  • If you look at the origins of Halloween dating back near 1000 years, a traditional celtic festival for the end of summer to winder (light to darkness) wearing masks to scare off evil spirits, its not really a US festival at all.
    So really we in Australia should celebrate halloween in April for our celtic ancestory.

  • Another American ex-pat here…. Halloween is just good fun for the kids. No sense trick-or-treating given neighbours wouldn’t know what to do if you showed up in a costume and candy bag, but my kids love carving pumpkins.

    Hilarious that’s it’s considered a “holiday”….as in holy day…maybe for the pagan’s.

  • personally I hate the fact that US centric celebrations are being embraced by kids here. Each I get a couple of kids coming around trying, but really is that what you want your kids doing, going up to strangers houses and asking for candy!!?!?!?!?

    WTF?????

  • As you well pointed out in the article, it simply comes down to being another excuse for retailers to peddle useless junk.

    Having said that, if people want to celebrate it, they should be free to do so, but not expect that others should follow suit.

    Although I think it’s great that it adds to this great country’s cultural richness, I loathe the commercialisation of the celebration.

    • Alvaro, I totally agree with you. Just another excuse for the retailers to cash in on it. I personally don’t want anything to do with it. I’ve never recognised Halloween so why should I start now? Also I object to kids roaming the streets in the evening “trick or treating” unaccompanied by adults. Not safe in this day and age.
      Julia

  • While I think Hallowe’en as a children’s holiday han’t been embraced in Australia (and I hope it never will), the excuse to dress up and have a party has I think- and why not? I think it has been adopted by adults as another excuse to party, and costuming as another way of having fun.

    That part of Hallowee’en is only a recent inclusion in American celebration of the holiday, and fairly harmless (as party going goes.) But our society has become too paranoid to ever allow kids’ trick and treating.

    • Can you have a typed Freudian slip? I guess you can.

      We host a Halloween party, is mainly an excuse to wear fun costumes and drink with friends. (we’ve hosted the last 4 years) Always entertaining to get dressed up.

  • It just doesnt feel right. All of the main characters seem alien in Australia I reckon. I guess we have made Santa a local by giving him a pair of thongs, singlet and the kids leave a stubby of beer out for him. I suspect jack-o-lanterns witches and otherwise will need same treatment before you’d consider it a local festival. I agree that we are in midst of a sudden retailer-led cultural shift. Who decided that one?

  • At $25 for a orange pumpkin who could resist. We have far more important things to worry about and even celebrate than Halloween.

    (That said Pumpkin Beer is amazing, but you might have to brew it yourself as Murray’s will sell out quick)

  • A local kinder organised trick or treating on the street we used to live on, and even the most cynical of the parents admitted that it was a great initiative after participating with their kids. The residents who gave out treats also got a big kick out of it. So my advice – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

    • I agree, Jon. I was brought into it purely because of my kids, and was very happy for them to pop into houses we knew of, dressed in costume, for an hour around twilight. Great fun for them and a good way of bringing the street together. My kids grew out of it after a couple of years, but we keep sweets available these days for any others who knock on the door. Harmless, inexpensive fun.

  • Firstly, I’m for ignoring this holiday. It’s never been anything celebrated in Australia before and really think we shouldn’t.

    … That said: We can’t.

    If you live in even a mildly family-oriented suburb, the amount of children looking for “trick or treats” (and accompanying parents) is staggering.

    This is definitely a holiday produced by media: Most parents of young children (such as myself) will remember seeing so many US shows about Halloween, that I think it comes as no surprise that parents these days are agreeing to dressing up their kids, and walking around the neighborhood looking for lollies.

    The last few years in my suburb (which is very family oriented) has seen this event grow exponentially.

    If anything, the Australian Halloween feels more awkward and innocent as you can see the kids and parents don’t know exactly what’s supposed to happen.

    So, even if you don’t plan on celebrating yourself, go to some place like Aldi and stock up on a few treats and lollies for when you hear a little tap on the door.

    — Dan =)

  • Why wouldn’t we want to celebrate it? We already celebrate Valentines Day and Halloween is waaaay better than that because it’s not mandatory, its not religious (for most people) and its a great laugh.

    It doesn’t have to be expensive either. Get some friends over and watch some scary movies and consider the holiday celebrated.

    Of course, if you want to participate in the trick or treat aspect of it, just remember some simple guidelines. Pre-wrapped sweets only, leave your front lights on from 6pm and something that I personally subscribe to, “No Adult = No Treats”. Of course you should check with your council in case they have their own guidelines but everywhere I have ever lived this has worked for me.

    For all you naysayers out there, the whole trick or treat thing is really adorable. I have seen lots of kids/parents put some effort into costumes and some of them were Awesome! I’ve seen a milk carton storm trooper, vampires (The non-twilight variety) and my personal favourite, a 3 foot tall zombie with the dancing style of Peter Garret in amongst the less creative yet often funny bed-sheet ghost (with floral arrangement)

    The other advantage it has is that it prepares me for Christmas lighting. I can get all of my non Christmas looking lights up early so its not so much work come November.

  • Magicians all over the world celebrate Halloween to commemorate the death of Houdini, who died on October 31st, 1926.
    We are having a meeting with the local Brisbane magicians on Sunday night. It promises to be a fun affair, and a great opportunity to perform all of our geek, bizarre, and spooky magic that we could never get away with for the rest of the year.

  • We (Australia) should recognise that this is a traditionally USA tradition/holiday.

    We should NOT observe any duplication of it here in Australia. It’s fake, contrived, me-to-ism and totally unnecessary here in Aust.

    When they come to the door, ignore them. I’m “not home” thankyou.

    End Old-Curmudgeon-Get-Off-My-Lawn Rant 😉

    • Totally agree. I refuse to buy into the begging that is trick or treating. I don’t give my nieces and nephews junk food so why would I give complete strangers lollies? I put a sign on the front door saying “No Trick or Treating…this is not America..,thanks”

  • I totally agree with Harvz. But the kids of today know nothing about Guy Fawkes and think that Oz has always celebrated Halloween.
    We oldies are fighting a losing battle. Maccas, malls, and US language are engulfing our identity.

    • I’m an Aussie living in Japan with my family and it is no different here. Americans pushing commercialism and American culture on others. Halloween novelties abound in every store and it is practically forced upon the Japanese by American shopping chains such as Toys R Us. Disneyland has a big Halloween celebration to push it further and American lollies and drinks are all decorated with Halloween stuff.

      • @James: Not sure why you think America is “pushing Halloween” on you…how would Americans make any money on that?

        Blame your fellow Aussies who choose to promote it…it’s not as though America has a patent on Halloween and charges for the use of it. **roll eyes**

  • I think it’s another excuse for consumerism and as someone on a tight budget I’m all for ignoring it. It’s not part of our culture and it serves no useful purpose.

  • Why do you all keep saying it’s an “american holiday”? Last I remembered, Halloween originated from other holidays such as Samhain (Celtic), and All Saints Day (Christian).

    Sure, it’s been commercialized, but then again, which holiday hasn’t been? Christmas and Easter, even our own Australia Day have been exploited by shops for money. We still celebrate those holidays, even though they (with the exception of Australia Day) are “American” Holidays (defined using the same reasoning you define Halloween as ‘American’)

    I personally celebrate Halloween, i love dressing the house up in fake spider webs, skeletons and fake graves and then playing some creepy music all evening to draw the ghosts, ghouls, ben10s and princesses to my house, trick or treating. Nothing like hearing their excitement when you give them a handful of lollies each (Come on, it’s like $5 for 1-2 kilos of individually wrapped hard-boiled lollies)

  • I see both sides.
    Yes it’s only here because of commercialism. But hey, the kids love any excuse to dress up silly and party. Yes, it’s traditionally a very old pagan festival not relevant to Aussie culture. But hey, Christmas itself is a hijacked pagan festival of winter solstice.

    Which side I support depends on whether I’m feeling nice or narky. It swings.

  • Considering that Halloween is associated with autumn and the harvest and that occurs here in april/may I think if we were going to do it, it should be then.

    That said, despite always wishing we did have it when I was a kid, as an adult I’ve never understood the trick or treat aspect of it. Parents spend 364 days of the year telling their kids not to talk to strangers, and that they should definitely NOT take candy from them in case its poisoned/whatever and then on “Halloween” those same parents take their kids door to door and get candy from strangers by the bucket full. Weird!

  • Aussies need to lighten up. We pretend to be laid back but we’re really just a bunch of uptight whingers who’ll take any excuse to put something like halloween down. You might say “No, it’s American, we’re not American so there” but honestly, why not just have fun with it? The Australian identity seems to be about sitting around, getting drunk and telling everyone to “**** off”.

  • This is the way I see it –

    I lived in the UK for two years, and celebrated Halloween both years – In fact, the first year, by Dressing up as Baron Samedi, and wandering out into the English nearly-winter sans Shirt, with a bottle of Caribbean rum, a hefty stock of cigars, and a whip, with a skeleton painted on my face, chest and hands – but that’s beside the point. Great fun, though.

    For those who say “It’s an American Holiday” – Well, first, you’re wrong, it’s Irish, and you should stop believing what you see on TV all the time.

    Second – If we rejected foreign holidays, WE WOULDN’T BLOODY WELL HAVE ANY. If you want to get rid of holidays that are from other places, then scratch Christmas, Easter, New Years, St Patrick’s day(Nobody seems to complain about that EXPLICITLY foreign holiday, funnily enough), and, well, pretty much everything else But ANZAC day and Australia Day.

    Third, It was celebrated here before, in the early days of Australia – thanks to the Irish and English immigrants that came after the convicts – but was largely forgotten about over time. You lost your battle to stop it being celebrated a hundred years before you were born.

    Look, boys and girls, things change over time. No matter how much you (Inaccurately) Whinge about an American holiday being celebrated here, eventually, it is likely to be. Don’t like it? Society at large is not required to be adherent to your whims, wants and desires.

    • @Churba

      Glad to know that you enjoy Halloween, and yes, how you dress up is besides the point 😉

      While Halloween is NOT an American holiday, it is celebrated to the largest extent in America, hence, why people tend to call it “American” (don’t try denying it).

      Okay, if we practiced your ideas on ‘scratch[ing]’ foreign holidays that are irrelevant then maybe we would. Christmas, Easter and St Patrick’s ARE NOT foreign holidays at all, they are RELIGIOUS! Don’t go tarnishing the Christian and Catholic holidays because this country was ‘civilised’ (if i may be so blunt about it) by Catholics and Christians. New Years coincidently enough is a worldwide holiday, not confined to several nations like Halloween is! People like you shit me, you don’t look outside the square you live in; you throw silly bits of evidence to approve of your own beliefs – while not thinking about it properly.

      Similarly, while our founders celebrated Halloween it was an extremely short lived holiday! It did not progress until recently because of the American push it has had on Australian society. So what if WAS celebrated here centuries ago, it diverged and halted because it was irrelevant and unnecessary you incromprehensible boob!

      Finally, deeming that societies should conform (as you illogically hinted) is a terrible notion to suggest! Conforming is only appropriate if it’s for necessary societal values! Like integrated societies; not something garbled like an irrelevant dress-up holiday where most people act like hooligans.

      If you like Halloween so be it. I don’t like Halloween. Time will tell if Australia conforms to this inferior holiday that eccentuates little relevance in our modern society.
      Don’t express things without properly thinking about it though! What you said had little evidence, it was vague and it was wrong!

  • I’m 18 and live in a largish town in Victoria. I had a Halloween party last year and when i suggested it to my friends they all seemed really excited that someone else had the desire to celebrate it. I am having another one tomorrow and i have decorations and Jack-o-lanterns coming out my ears. It’s an amazing and fun holiday! and i don’t even see the party as a reason to get pissed mates, i see it as a celebration of Halloween and i hope more Australians get involved!!

  • Halloween Hacker (for parents with young kids):

    Halloween is one of the lowest-stress kids parties you can imagine.

    The first thing to do, a week or more beforehand, is to go around the neighbourhood and ask people whether they’d mind a gaggle of excited young kids, accompanies by their parents, to knock on their door and ask for treats.
    For those who are unfamiliar with Halloween, I explain that the kids will shout ‘trick or treat’ at which point the homeowner is to feign shock and surprise and magically produce a bowl of stuff (more on stuff later).

    Our ‘gaggle’ consists of about 15 kids mostly between the ages of 3 and 8, many of whom have some sort of allergy. Therefore, I ask all parents to drop off a bag of lollies that suit their kids in advance, and I go around to each house the day before and leave them there.

    This way, the people we’re trick or treating don’t have to worry about buying lollies, allergies or anything like that — we just ask that they be in at the scheduled time.

    So, even before we turn up with the kids, I’ve paid two trips around the neighbours’ houses and have had a chat with people I may not have met before. Last year we had a kids party in the back yard. This year we’ve invited all the people we’re visiting back to our yard for a sausage sizzle.

    Okay, so you’ve bought your lollies, chatted to the neighbours and worked out a route that the kids can manage.

    Now comes the hardest part: costumes. Thankfully the shops are now full of costumes come halloween time, and so you can generally buy them off the peg. The more adventurous should check out instructables.com who, at this time of year have a massive section on halloween costumes.

    Last year we organised various party games for the kids, but the whole thing was eclipsed by the trick or treating itself.
    So this year there’s no games. When we get back from terrorising the neighbours, the kids can run amok in the back yard, acting our their costumes.

    Decorating the house was a breeze. We found that Bunnings throw out large sheets of corrugated plastic used to protect layers of pavers. This stuff is easy to cut into shapes, is weatherproof and lasts from year to year.

    Pumpkins are great when it’s Autumn, but for sunny Australia, watermelons work much better and the innards can be pulped and turned into a drink for the kids. No need for candles and when they’re done with they get thrown to the chooks.

    iTunes has a great selection of Halloween soundtracks, so I downloaded a 30-minute track that’s full of ‘haunted house’ effects: screams, creaking doors, wind, cackles, etc… This plays on repeat from somewhere inside our house.

    To the naysayers who claim this is an American import, I reckon you’d find Halloween to be full of Aussie spirit. Through this festival we bring together neighbours. We make Halloween icons such as jack-o-lanterns by using watermelons instead of pumpkins. We mark the arrival of warmer weather by cracking open the barbie and sharing a sausage and beer with the neighbours.

    To those who say that it teaches kids to visit strangers. All the kids know that this is organised and that they are welcome visitors at houses. There is no pretence that we are randomly picking houses.

    All in all it’s probably the most fun festival of the year. Neighbours share the burden of organisation and young and old enjoy the fun equally.
    Go on. Give it a go!

    • If lifehacker would like me to write a longer article with costume hacks, treat hack, trick hacks, decoration hacks, food hacks and the like, you’ve got my details.
      The key is to get people on board a month beforehand so that they have time to prepare costumes or ensure that they are in when the kids visit.
      Next year, Halloween falls on a Monday, so you have the choice of organising a big Sunday party or a shorter after-school event on the Monday. Either works!

  • COME AND GONE .BULLDUST ,EVIL AMERICANISED GAELIC POMMY CRAP..POURED RAIN HERE ALLNIGHT .POOR KIDS WOULD GET PNEUMONIA ..MORE RUBBISH IN THE SHOPS WITH LESS WILLPOWER IN THE WALLET.HOPEFULLY WILL LOSE ITS APPEAL..CHRISTMAS IS COMING -BUT WE ALREADY KNOW THAT FROM SEPTEMBER NOW (JOLLY RETAILERS )

  • wow what a bunch of crab apples in Australia.
    and I told everyone here what a fun people you were! Have to think again. Sounds like someone is afraid to part with the pennies for lollies!

  • I have never understood Halloween. I first heard about it when my friend in primary school said “trick or treat” to me. I said treat thinking that I would get something but it puzzled me as to why I was supposed to give her something. I then said trick thinking I had to play a trick on her but it turned out to be the other way around again. Why should I have to give total strangers’ kids lollies just so that they won’t trash my front yard? It has and never will make any sense to me and I am 35 years old.

  • Halloween LOVE IT

    Problem with Australian.. which I am is that most are GUTLESS

    What wrong with a bit of fun

    Winge about something that matters, Australians.. No Backbone and No Guts

    • What is gutless about not wanting strangers knocking at your door demanding lollies? If some of us don’t want to partake, we shouldn’t feel pressured into it. IMO it’s another excuse for commercialism and pushing American “culture” on Australia.

  • I just had some kids come to the door to trick or treat we told them to go to America. Our Australian culture does not and hope will not celebrate Halloween . The next thing the idiots that watch too much TV will ask for is a turkey on thenksgiving day or fireworks on the 4th of July. I just hope that those fools know that our emergency number is 000 and not 911.

  • Halloween’s arrival in Australia signifies that we are losing the battle to retain our Australian identity against the relentless bombardment of our shores by US cultural mores. 25 years ago only Yank tourists would be seen dead in a baseball cap – and no self-respecting Aussie would use the American word “buddy”for cobber or mate. Halloween was only for precocious American brats on TV sitcoms. Australia had a strong sense of its own identity.
    Nowadays we seem intent on becoming the 51st state of the Union. It’s called brainwashing.
    The US Free Trade Agreement signed in 2004 by the Howard Government will only Americanise our culture further. It stipulates that local media content laws cannot be increased on digital TV, so it won’t be long before we are also celebrating Thanksgiving Day and waving the Stars on Stripes on “July 4” without embarrassment.
    A sad state of affairs.

  • I’m Australian and grew up without Halloween,I experienced it 4 years ago in the US and my family and I loved it!
    I thinks it’s a great excuse to get together with family and friends and have a good time.
    It really doesn’t matter what it means it’s really fun for the kids and grown ups like myself!
    Every year we throw a big party and my family and friends look forward to it.I also sent out flyers in my street to notify the neighbours for trick or treaters.I also put a orange /black ballon in their letter box so those who want to participate they can hang it off there letterbox.Not everyone is into Halloween which is o.k.
    We have so much more things to worry about in life so litten up,have fun and spook yourself silly!
    I think it’s GREAT that it’s getting bigger and better each year in Australia.

  • I used to be against Halloween in Australia, but with the big commercial push this year I had a good think about getting a couple of packets of lollypops. I decided that it was only a couple of bucks and let the kids have their fun.

    I only had one group of about 6 kids come to my door, but they were all dressed up and having a good time.

    Yes we have not really celebrated this holiday in Australia in the past but so what if we do in the future. Remember what is was like to be a kid and think how much fun it would be for them to dress up with their mates and get free treats. If you think about it like that then there is no reason you cannot have a few lollies ready for them

  • But it originally came from the UK, but loads of you seem to ignore that, I used to0 Trick or Treat in the Uk in the 80’s as a child, it goes back hundreds of years, it started in the early 1900’s in the US but goes back to Shakespeare time in the UK. So it is not an American tradition but an English one.

  • It should not be embraced at all! It needs to be shunned and looked at scathingly by communities.
    It has no relevance in Australian society and is completely unnecessary.

    I don’t mind if people go over to their friends’ houses and watch scary movies all night long, hey why not? That’s fun! Trick-or-treating or antagonising the community is inappropriate and annoying.

    Furthermore, the fact that we’re welcoming summer, and the northern hemisphere is welcoming winter (which is one reason why hallowe’en started) further highlights the reason why it’s unnecessary.

    As a VCE student i was not impressed having people disturb and disrupt my studying as i have upcoming exams (i’m sure the vast majority of senior students around australia can comply with me)! Not only that, but having kids continually ringing the door bell just because we didn’t have any junk for them to eat was annoying. It was hard trying to remain as nice as i could to them D:< We need to stop conforming and start tarnishing it's impact on modern Australian society!

  • I think Halloween is growing in Australia. It is a great event if done correctly. It is a day people can get together with friends and neighbours to have some fun and muck around for a night.

  • Iam from australia, I’ve got 5 children that love halloween, every year I get scary movies and lots of lollies, my children love handing lollies out to the children th at knock on the door, its the best feeling seeing children smile over a few lollies. I think more people should be celebrating Halloween, as it gives enjoyment to all big and small.

  • I am an ex-pat from America and am Irish, English, German, Scottish and French. I am sure if many of you look back at your family tree and truly investigate your ancestry you will find that you are not purely one nationality. Especially with the countless wars that have changed country names and lines in the past thousand years. I currently live in Brisbane, Queensland, and am often horrified by certain peoples open hostility towards America (and other cultures) extremely disappointing.

    No matter where we live, we should be teaching each other and most importantly our children to embrace diversity and other cultures. I know not everyone adopts this idea in each and every country (not even America) but our world would be better for it. Whether we like it or not with today’s shared media and the technology, we have windows into other cultures and should allow individuals without criticism to celebrate their customs and join in if we so choose.

    America is not perfect and no society or culture is. However, I, as well as many of my fellow Americans supported and often celebrated with our friends and colleagues many “holidays” and/or special occasions that were religious or not. We try, not always successfully though, to support and embrace the many cultures that makes America, “America”. I have spent time in Austria and the Philippines, and in honour of their traditions celebrated their special occasions and/or holidays. In turn, my friends there embraced and helped me celebrate my chosen American traditions. I have Jewish friends and have celebrated many holidays with them and their families including Hanukkah and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. I celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in honour of an important Irish celebration and holiday. I celebrate Cinco de Mayo in honour of many of my Mexican friends their heritage and pride. The list goes on. To discount and mock anyone’s heritage, religion, and or customs teaches and spreads hatred. Something I think we should be avoiding.

    Halloween did not originate in America it is just a fun holiday that we embrace and celebrate. It brings smiles to face of children and adults. Each and every person celebrates it for their own reason, whether it be the fun factor, remembrance of the dead, or a specific cultural occasion. While I do believe it has become a bit commercialized, it wouldn’t be happening if the demand wasn’t there and people didn’t buy the products. That is a simple economic supply and demand equation.

    In the end, I personally love Halloween and have many fond memories as a child and an adult. I think that I should not be chastised or degraded due to my beliefs nor should anyone for whichever special day/occasion/holiday they choose to acknowledge.

  • I live on the Gold Coast and I LOVE Halloween. I’ve been doing a yard haunt for 5 years now, building my own props etc. It’s a great artistic outlet. Everyone enjoys it, including the adults, and yes even the older folks. This year I’ve even started my own pumpkin patch, mainly to avoid the insane prices we pay for a single Halloween pumpkin but also a bit if fun leading up to the day. Fright Nights at movie world are also getting hugely popular and its HEAPS of fun! If Halloween’s not your thing, then that’s fine by me, but I’m pretty disgusted at all the America bashing here.

  • I personally think it should matter. Just walking through Coles or Woolworths you can see that people do get involved. My friend and I might but my mum won’t answer the question 🙁

  • Too many idiots who watch tv and think they live in the US becuse its on a sitcom etc( especially kids). My favourite time of year to yell at kids to get of my lawn and be a humbug for good reason.

  • Halloween is a stupid American holiday that we have copied for some stupid reason and decided to take on. Stores are only selling Halloween crap just to get more sales and money. Why are we copying America?

  • If you are all gonna celebrate it then Celebrate it on the PROPER date.

    This is the Southern Hemisphere.

    Our Seasons are 6 Months reversed to the Northern Hemisphere

    October 31 is NOT Halloween.

    Halloween is 1st May in Southern Hemisphere and thus in Australia.

    October 31 is Beltane in Southern Hemisphere.

    If you must jump on the band wagon and claim you celebrate it, Then do it for the right reason on the RIGHT date.

  • I read recently about Halloween not being celebrated in Australia, and a subsequent google search led me here. As an American, who was born and raised in America and has never been to another country, I would like to provide a little insight on the view of the holiday from American eyes, as well as the idea that it should be celebrated in yours or any other country.

    Now the first thing you should understand is that the vast majority of us Americans dont celebrate Halloween, or any other of the major “American” holidays, for their original purposes. I certainly dont give a s**t about pilgrims and indians, harvests, or jesus’s supposed b-day. The holidays usually mean something else to us. The 4th of July is about our independence yes, but also a day to appreciate the soldiers who protect us (but not necessarily appreciate the things politicians make them do), and the fact that every one of us emigrated here at some point for a better life. Thanksgiving for us is about family. For a lot of us its the one day of the year when the extended family gets together in one place. Aunts and uncles, parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces and nephews…. we all get together and, well, argue mostly lol. But then we catch up and sit down to a nice meal and are thankful for each other. We dont sit around talking about pilgrims or whatever. We dont care about that. Christmas is about buying people gifts and being with close family. Not jesus. Especially not for me who is an atheist. As for Halloween, some of the hispanic community do still honor the dead on Halloween and the day after, but most dont pay attention to that or the harvest thing. For kids Halloween is about costumes and candy, and for adults its about slutty costumes and alcohol. Put more simply its about fun. A day to be anonymously silly. We know that ultimately the various holidays are about consumerism, but so what? We get to have a good time and thats what matters.

    So does this mean that because we think our holidays are so great, that we think everyone should celebrate them? Hell no. We dont give a f**k what you do. Nor do we have any interest in foisting our culture upon anyone. But take away the american thing for a minute. If someone offered you a day where you could dress up like a loon and eat candy/drink booze, or a day to spend with extended family and eat great food (any food not just turkey), or a day to appreciate your freedom and your soldiers who protect you, why wouldnt you want to take it? Just because it was previously americanized doesnt mean you cant take it and make it your own. After all thats pretty much what we did. We’re a nation of borrowed ideas. So do it or dont do it, but when it comes down to it its about you not us.

    Also its worth noting that the vast majority of Americans are utterly fascinated by foreigners. We tend to be wrapped up in our own little American lives, so the opportunity to interact with people from other nations is awesome. This is especially true for those who visit us from England, Ireland, and Australia. Theres nothing cooler then being out in public and hearing that musical accent. Come visit and see how many people are interested in you when they hear you speak. The point is…. I dont know how the media portrays us in other countries, not good based on a lot of the things I hear, but dont be fooled by the actions of 1% of our population. Most of us are normal and friendly people, who are undeserving of the anti american sentiment much of the world gives us.

    Anyway I hope that provided some insight. Cheers mates!! 😉

  • Halloween is becoming a clebrated holiday in Australia. The kids love it!

    For the past 4 years we’ve put on the Haunting of Oak Beach in Far North Queensland (www.hauntingofoakbeach.com).

    Last year the event became a ‘theme park’ placed on 2.5 acres. We expected 600+ to arrive. When we opened there was 1200+ standing in line to enter. It’s a great way to let the kids celebrate Halloween without the need to go ‘door to door’. A safe controlled environment for ‘kids of all ages’.

    This year the Haunting is going to be even bigger. We’ve added a lifesize Stonehenge replica with 7 ft tall Aliens attenting to the staging. The Aliens are made from fibreglass and their heads turn with animatronics. In addtion there’s a huge spooky graveyard, a Pirates Cove, Fantasy Land, Haunted Mansion, Witches Hut and a Haunted Thunder Box. We spend at least 4 to 5 hours a day over 365 days just for a 3.5 hour presentation. This year we open on October 27th at 6PM.

    Does Halloween Matter In Australia? Ask any kid and their parents that experienced the Haunting of Oak Beach. I think you’ll find the answer is YES.

    • Jennifer, Australians are a weird lot and I’ll tell you how… I’ll tell you about my personal, very generalised views of the American nation. Southern states are filled with uneducated, intollerable, homophobic, dirty hicks. The Northern states just wish they lived in Canada so they can get some half decent and affordable health care. There’s a chunk of people who are very Christian and believe America is the greatest (or only worthwhile) country on the planet. They celebrate all the major holidays, have moderate wealth and seem perfect. Then there’s another few chunks who live in trailers/didn’t finish high school/joined a gang/wrapped tin foil around their heads/and eat a lot of shit food… And want to blow up everything and anything… And then there’s the 1%…
      But the thing is, I got this ‘well researched’ pile of rubbish from Michael Moore documentaries, American television shows and American movies and most notably… Borat.

      BUT! I’m just dieing to get to America to see what it’s really like cause something tells me I’m wrong… But that’s me. (I just hope I’m not chased out with pick axes because of my sexuality and the fact that
      I’m an atheist ;))

      Oh and by the way… Australians are renowned for cheering on the battler and shunning the successful… We do it to eachother all the time. So it makes sence, considering the mark America left on the world last century (Hollywood, winning wars, capitalism/wealth) that as a whole, we’d find a way to put y’all down anyway we can…

      We also have daddy issues and in many ways America adopted us/or vice versa (via politics and media)… It’s a convict thing

      So that’s what’s inside my head… I adopted it from sociology, documentaries, sitcoms, Swamp People… And Borat.

  • Australians seem to hate many cultures that much, not just Americans, my next door neighbor said there’s a conspiracy to have black Africans take over the country…the government is behind this, starting with the takeover of all the post office jobs. I’m sure if asked if she hated Halloween she would passionately say to ignore it…just as other here have said. I wonder what the others here would say on the topic of accepting other cultures…if they would be as ignorant as this lady, what a shock to here such negativity…

    • I was born and raised in the USA, but many of my ancestors came from Europe and I think that is great. As far as all those corporations you are talking about, I do not work for them and do not care about them and their need for greed as I call it. Sure, I have a computer, hard to do things without one to be honest. I don’t need a car since we have good bus service in my area.

  • If you search Australian newspapers in the late 1800s through to the 1920, there are literally thousands of mentions of Halloween being celebrated across Australia, its popularity waning as the youth of the day lost interest in celebrating traditions. Many Australians’ ancestors came over as Scottish immigrants escaping the clearing of the highlands and brought the tradition with them in the mid 1800s. Trick and treating didn’t appear anywhere in the world un

  • I don’t think Halloween should ever have been let out of the northern hemisphere. I hate to sound like a party pooper but it just seems wrong in Australia, though I’m sure the retailers who deck their shop spaces out with all that expensive festive ‘landfill’ would disagree. I live in Brisbane and last year Halloween turned into a sh*tfight of greedy, aggressive, obnoxious kids (some up to their mid-teens) trawling the streets like a mini riot, banging on doors and leaving a trail of rubbish for people to pick up the morning after. Big contrast to the mostly decent youngsters I remember from a stint living in the UK. There and in Ireland, U.S. and Canada there seems to be a lived-in etiquette. Here in Oz it just seems a little bit silly and for anyone who says that it’s a good excuse for the kids to enjoy themselves I say ‘No it’s not. It’s just an excuse for kids to show how spoilt, middy-coddled and vulgar they’ve become in this day and age’. So, being Oct 30th, I am preparing the fire house, hiring the Rottweilers and getting ready to defend home base from the inevitable din that is headed our way. Mwa-hahahaha (evil laugh).

    • I’m Australian born and raised in Sydney,and I LOVE Halloween,we go all out with our Halloween party which we normally do the weekend before Halloween and our friends and family look forward to it every year.It’s a great excuse to get everybody together!!!
      In our area the kids and families are really respectful when they are trick or treating and it’s all over by 7 30pm.It’s so nice to see all the kids in costumes and some of the parents get into it to.
      I always do a letter drop a week before to notify our neighbours,I even provide black/orange balloons so if they want to participate they can just hang them on their letterbox.
      I say YES for Halloween in OZ,Get into the spooky spirit and have some fun.

  • I’ve been trick or treating for two years now and it’s not going to stop, no one cares that my friends and I are 16 and 6ft tall or that it’s not an Australian tradition. The only thing that we got that was Halloweenish was an orange

  • As a pagan, can I just tell you all that halloween is not american at all, they just discovered what we were doing and tried to make money off it, which is horrible. Halloween is actually April 31st in the southern hemipshere to celebrate when the veil between the 2 worlds is at it’s thinnest, ours and the spirit world, hence the name “Day of the Dead”. The trick or treating was what children did to celebrate the end of the week when they could leave their homes because none of the bad spirits could get them. It is actually Beltane in the southern hemisphere at this time as our holidays are celebrated with the seasons. On Samhain, pronounced sow-en (halloween) we do rituals to honour the dead, like our ancestors and get ready for the winter. As it is spring and we are celebrating the coming of summer soon (Yule) it is not halloween here. If you are going to bad mouth halloween, at least do some research before so you know what you are bad mouthing as it is very disrespectful.

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