Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Review


Back in the U.S. my neighbors are still handing out candy but here in Australia Halloween has come and gone.

For my kids, Halloween isn't just a holiday- it's a season. We spend months pouring over costume patterns, choosing just the right one. I haul out my sewing machine and work frantically until the last minute. For weeks leading up to the event there are parties, school parades, carnivals, pumpkin patch trips, and costume contests. When the big night arrives, we join the masses in our neighborhood and collect enough candy to last until Christmas.

But this year it was a bit different. First of all, it's Spring here. No pumpkin patches in sight, and a small pumpkin at the green grocer costs $40. So no pumpkin carving. As far as I can tell, the celebration at school consisted of a Halloween word search. No costumes, no eating a donut off a string, no pumpkin bowling. But no worries because our sweet Australian neighbors organized trick-or-treating for the neighborhood kids.

About a week before Halloween, they did a letterbox drop informing everyone that the local kids would be coming by at 5 pm. Everyone willing to hand out candy was asked to put out something orange.

We met up with the neighbors at the designated time (in broad daylight in 80 degree weather). I immediately noticed that Aussies have a totally different approach to Halloween costumes. It is a widely held belief here that costumes are meant to be scary. So lots of kids just wore their regular clothes with a scary mask. We also had several kids dressed as witches in everyday black clothes with pointy hats. (These witch hats also doubled as treat bags. Turn them upside down and voila- a place to put your candy)! Some kids didn't dress up at all. One kid was a ghost- Charlie Brown style in a sheet with oddly placed eye holes. I can confidently say that I am the only mum in the neighborhood who blew a fuse on my step down transformer sewing away on my kids' costumes. No one really knew who my kids were dressed as (I guess the Disney channel hasn't completely taken over the lives of all children here). I think most people assumed the Little Buddy's costume was his crazy red hair. But nevertheless, my kids were thrilled to be dressed up and didn't really notice what everyone else was wearing.

Of course the big thrill of Halloween is collecting candy (or lollies, as they say). Sure, I was a little bit grossed out at the unwrapped gummy worms being handed out at many houses, but there were also plenty of lollipops, Freddo Frogs, and fizzers. We walked 5 streets and probably hit around 20 houses. While we were out around 30 kiddos came by our apartment where my sweet husband threw candy down to them from the balcony.


All in all it was a wonderful Halloween. Lots of friends, fun and candy. Just what Halloween is meant to be.

1 comment:

Kristi said...

Glad to hear there was some kind of celebrating. I find it so interesting that all the costumes were scary, it is funny how things translate.

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