I Really Really Hate Halloween

22/10/2008

Comments: 47 readers have left a comment

I Really Really Hate Halloween

Oh how I hate Halloween.

Why oh why do we have this American tradition in Australia?
If we HAVE to mindlessly adopt their traditions why can’t we have Thanksgiving? Nice Thanksgiving where families sit around and tell each other how grateful they are for each other. Good wholesome stuff.

But no – instead we get Halloween, where our children dress up as ghouls and witches, adorn themselves in fake blood, go and knock on total strangers’ doors and rudely demand lollies.

And yes – the word is lollies in Australia. Not candy. (Hey if they can’t accept our Kath & Kim without a translator, I am boycotting the word candy)
And by the way this is not an anti-American rant. God bless America. But they can keep their Halloween to themselves thankyou very much.

Do our obese, unfit children of Australia REALLY need more lollies?

Any other day of the year we would tell them off for approaching total strangers. And not without good reason. See that pumpkin logo at the top of the page? That’s not some cute meaningless design. That is what the state of Maryland has sent all its paedophiles. They are forced by law to display that sign on their doors so that children know not to knock there. Disturbing huh? Even more disturbing when you realise Australia has no such law.

But there should be a sign like this for us who hate this day and do not want the hassle of kids knocking on the door inanely chanting ‘trick or treat’. I doubt they even know what it means.

I know of elderly people who have been badly frightened by trick-or-treaters banging on their door after dark.

I have witnessed my own daughter terrified by a trick-or-treater wearing a hideous Scream mask at our front door.

No, Halloween is terrible. I refuse to have anything to do with it. Who’s with me?



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Reader Comments

mandy

22/10/2008 at 01:47

The whole trick or treat thing is totally adopted from the USA. Kids have been watching too much TV featuring Halloween crap. All the kids in our street used to do the doorknock thing and I banned my kids from participating as I do not agree with it. I was really annoyed when the doorbell word chime all evening, and if you did not give the kids a treat some would egg your house, or pull up your plants, bend the mirrors on your car or some other vandalistic antic. One of my kids did participate whilst on a sleepover on a Fri night. he came back with a whole bag of lollies (much to my disgust). Kid's just thinkof it as a way to get free stuff. parents need to put a stop to it as it encourages scavenging behaviour and is dangerous.

Nique

22/10/2008 at 13:32

Although I can understand some of the sentiment here in regards to Halloween I would just like to point out that this tradition is NOT American, I think before making comments you may all wish to read up on the origins of this celebration, especially the trick or treating side of it. Maybe what parents need to do is educate themselves on traditions and then educate their children, mine have been, and neither expect anything. Just a thought...

dave

22/10/2008 at 16:51

... yes, but the "Trick or Treating" where the kids expect candy for nothing is an American thing.

It comes from the Scottish tradition of "Guising" where kids would dress up, then go door-to-door performing acts for their neighbours. If the act was worthy enough, then the kids would get a treat.

The Americans have turned this around to expect something for just knocking on the door, and punishing those who don't give them anything.

Linda

23/10/2008 at 01:20

Thank you Thank you Thank you

bignanna

23/10/2008 at 14:35

Thank you Dave 22/10/08, saved me letting me know that its not American.

reeta

23/10/2008 at 19:06

I'm not, its fun and at long last you can buy halloween stuff, I for one plan to have a party and the 50 odd people who are coming think its great.If you want thanksgiving who's stopping you

Lucrecia

25/10/2008 at 00:50

How many of you who think you know how holidays are celebrated in the United States actually KNOW anything first hand about it instead of just what you see on tv? In the U.S., Halloween is a holiday for people of all ages to enjoy. Houses are decorated lavishly, adults dress up as well and many of them wait by the door to greet the children when they arrive. Trick or treaters are revered AND, as with anything else, if the parents are doing their job the children are supervised so they are never in danger and are taught to behave respectfully. Halloween is a community building event and just as enjoyable for the parents as it is for the children. And by the way, for those grouches who don't want to be 'bothered', it's as simple as not putting your light on. Otherwise, lighten up and let the children have some constructive fun for a change. But don't touch Thanksgiving.

Maggie

26/10/2008 at 18:50

Dearest Deborah,

I was just reading a few of your other posts and they seem to have one very odd thing in common.... they all, in one form or another, have you complaining incessantly.

Even though you may not agree with what some choose to believe or practice there should be at least an element of tolerance. Therefore it seems ironic that you, of all people, are lecturing on parenting.

I mean what's the big deal? You spend $10 on 30 fun size chocolate bars and make a few little kids' day - perhaps spreading some cheer will do some good for that ultra critical demeanor, no?

M
xx

mary

26/10/2008 at 21:19

I also think halloween is a great community event. The kids have a ball dressing up, and visiting the neighbours. It is harmless fun, and something the kids look forward to each year. Anyway it is only 1 night a year, why make such a big deal over 1 night. Cheer up and take the kids out and enjoy yourselves. If you don't like it put a note on your door and the kids will quite happily avoid your house.

Ellen

27/10/2008 at 13:19

As an American (with small children) new to Australia I would like to second Lucrecia's comments about what Halloween is really like in America. It really is fun and not abusive (for all the scary stuff you hear in the news, it is just happy children aren't newsworthy). What is great about Halloween is that it is a true community cooperative holiday. It success relies on a lot of people following a social code, kids have to dress up and be polite, parents have to police the process, neighbors (in reasonable numbers) have to at least put on the porch light (everyone knows that lights off means 'don't ring'; so the scrouges can easily opt out). There are few holidays in the States that rely on social cooperation (most are celebrated purely with family & friends) so I think it is lovely and rather amazing that one that relies so heavily on mass participation has thrived so well in our increasingly insular and zenophobic world.

richard

30/10/2008 at 09:01

Halloween may have other origins but the good ol US of A exported it here via it's insidious bloody TV shows. As Australia seems incapable of understanding or recognising any cultural heritage of it's own we are just adopting a candy coated American TV version. Adopting someone else's traditions just because it is fun is in no way harmless. It's sad.

julie fedele

30/10/2008 at 15:25

I'm Australian and Halloween is my favourite day of the year. Last year I was lucky enough to spend Halloween in New York and had an amazing time. It's such a shame that parents don't let their children get involved simply because "It's an American tradition" (which appears to be inaccurate information anyway according to earlier posts). What does that matter? It's fun! And maybe if parents were to embrace it and recognise the fun and community/social benefits that our kids can get from participating, people would grow to understand more about the history of the tradition and anti-social/destructive behaviour may cease. Besides, these parents whingeing about "candy" and Americans, I bet their kids are still allowed to eat McDonalds at least occasionally (and this is only a once-a-year event we're talking about) and they probably watch American shows on TV all the time. Halloween is a fantastic opportunity to dress up, meet the neighbours, and spook yourself silly.

Haidee

30/10/2008 at 19:56

As an american living in Australia now, I think it's sad Australia doesnt participate in Halloween. Just for the record it's one of my favorite holidays. It is also one of the oldest holidays and celebrated in countries including UK, China, Belgium and Austria to name a few. Halloween is a fun community event where people CHOOSE to participate or not. If you want to be a scrooge leave off your porch light. I also would like to point out its not just candy (YES I WILL SAY CANDY) given out. I have received a tooth brush and toothpaste, coloring books, fruit and fun things over the years. Its a special event you can share with your children. What is the difference between the candy you get trick or treating or that you get in show bags. NOTHING. If you are worried about the Obese children of Australia .. the key there is Excercise and not just eating candy. I will look forward to any families wanting to come knock on our door. Trick or Treat everyone. Have a BOOO tiful time

dannye nunn

31/10/2008 at 11:55

You're absolutely right, Julie. I'm certain (100% certain) that the supposed "Australians" commenting about Halloween being "another bloody American blah blah blah" also shop at Kmart and watch American movies and TV shows.

I am an American/Australian citizen and choose to live in Australia out of personal preference. I'm raising a child whom is Australian and fully support Halloween as a fun and exciting time for kids and communities. These "Australians" are few and far between and represent nothing about the Australia I live in.

Instead of complaining about kids wanting to have fun on Halloween being promoted by American TV, why don't you take your personal issues about a lack of actual Aussie holidays that represent nothing but our culture (WE MUST HOMOGENISE!!!) here in Australia and do something about it. Some more Christmas songs and stories for kids outside of six white boomers would be a start. Whingers.

Stephanie

31/10/2008 at 19:06

I am COMPLETELY with you. I absolutely cannot stand that this American tradition is a growing event on our calendar. I was having this rant earlier to my Mum when I saw kids "trick or treating" and I pretty much said exactly what you have said in this article. It's not safe, we know that kids shouldn't go to strangers' houses, especially in this day and age, and as if they need lollies (NOT CANDY)!? I just can't stand it. We bagged John Howard so much for pandering to Bush's every need and here we are reflecting this love of America in our behaviour.
We should put more effort into celebrating and showing the appropriate respect on our own public holidays and leave the Americans with their candy and dress-ups.

John W

31/10/2008 at 21:22

I fully agree that we should not be celebrating Halloween in Australia. It is totally alien to Australia's culture.

During the early colonial years of Australia, it was decided not to observe the Halloween custom. Why must we Aussies celebrate a custom that is not Australian?

However, I disagree regards Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was all about the struggle of the Pilgrim Fathers who after emigrating to America, had difficulty with their crops and they were helped out by a local Indian tribe.

Thanksgiving has no relevence whatsoever to Australia's culture and history.

I am not against kids having their fun nor am I against people partying on 31 October, but for Pete's sake, here in Australia, let's call it something else, something that reflects Australian culture.

Let's have a "Blinky Bill" day instead of Halloween and lets remember that we are not Americans, we are Australians.

Aussie Aussie Aussie.

Cal D

06/11/2008 at 07:53

I personally dont believe at all in Halloween. But thats my opinion. I believe that those who wish to celebrate this occasion do it in their own home i.e. have a party without intruding on other people "door knocking". I will also add that parents who do not accompany their kids "door knocking" could very well put these kids in a very dangerous situation.

Kathleen

08/11/2008 at 13:10

I'm an American in Australia. Halloween was lots of fun and a perfectly wholesome activity when I was growing up in the U.S. I'm surprised to see it catching on so quickly here. I guess it's from TV. I don't think there's any turning back now. Five years ago there were no trick-or-treaters. This year I had about 30. I'm happy to hand out "candy" because I remember how many kind neighbours gave me candy when I was a child. Also I get to say hello to children from my neighbourhood that I might otherwise not meet. By the way, I've introduced Thanksgiving to my friends here & I have a dinner every year with everyone bringing a dish to share. They love it and they like the idea of a very positive day when we think about things for which we're grateful. That's certainly an idea that can cross national borders. It doesn't have to be about the American Pilgrims and the Mayflower, etc. You Australians have many reasons of your own to be grateful for

Kathleen

08/11/2008 at 13:22

I would also like to say that all of the children that came to our door were extremely polite and their parents should be proud of them. I was so pleasantly surprised. They all said "thank you" and many of them said "We hope you have a very nice evening." It was just a very positive experience for both me and my trick-or-treat visitors. Also, some had a parent on the footpath waiting for them and so I had the chance to exchange a friendly smile and wave with these neighbours that I've never met before. All around, just a great experience and I agree with some of the posters here that perhaps people should focus on the positive in life and quit jumping to complain about things. I think it's great for kids to have the opportunity of interacting with adults in such a positive way. By the way, as an American I promise not to try to inflict July 4th (Independence Day) on you guys.

Cara

17/01/2009 at 07:26

Goodness. As an American contemplating moving to Australia, the obvious anti-American feelings coming from some of these posts are a little sad. Your country, like ours, is a melting pot of many traditions. Participate or not, but I don't think it speaks very highly of you when your only reason for not wanting a children's celebration there is because it's SO AMERICAN. And if you just change its name and make it sole Aussie, then it's okay? What nonsense!

Halloween has always been my favorite time of the year. Yes, there are always children (usually teens) who are up to no good and get in trouble, but the huge majority of children who go out are just excited to dress up and get goodies. My family always allowed me to have what I wanted the night of, but then it was portioned out, little by little, over the next few days. It's called PARENTING, which is also what those children who come to your home acting rudely need.

And spoken like a real American...chill out.

Alex

14/04/2009 at 21:01

I personally have no real care for Halloween, nor have I ever done, but to my own people (Aussies) why don't you all relax and learn to live and let live? Can't you stop the whinging about us turning into American and let others do as they want? I bet some of you anti-US people are the first ones to buy a big mac, grab a latte from starbucks and get out your Seinfeld DVDs.

Reggie

17/04/2009 at 06:43

I'm Australian and I go all out for Halloween.I decorate my home and I have a huge party every year.My family,friends and neighbours love it.It's a great excuse to get together and have some fun.
I also send out flyers around my area to notify the neighbours that the kids are trick or treating.
It's only one night of the year! lighten Up!

Carla

03/06/2009 at 10:51

I'm and American and I hate Halloween. Every Halloween I have to deal with some creepy people throwing eggs and t.p. at my house, or squirting glue in my car locks because I don't want to participate in that stupid holiday. And the ignorant parents who let their kids come to my door even though I have all the house lights turned off. OMG! I could be some kind of nut job who grabs the kids and stuffs them in a freezer or something while dad stands in the street smoking and joking.

Christine

28/09/2009 at 17:42

I love Halloween, the spirit of it anyway. To me its all in the decorating & watching the kids (and adults) dress up and have some fun (not the egg throwing fun), Perth is very anti community (yes i live here). Most of the schools have no community minded programs or school spirit as such. Kids have nothing to do except hang around at Maccas, mostly after dark when they should be at home. Parents are lazy. I know alot of us are time poor, myself included, however, what is one hour, 1 day a year to spend a little fun time with your kids. It's something that kids of all ages can enjoy.
I cant see why you should be concerned about paedophiles. As a good parent you should be out there with kids.
We dont go trick or treating, we stay home, decorate the front of the house so the kids actually know that they are welcome.
Lighten up. Teach your kids some values, some respect and maybe they wont be one of the 9 year olds down the road terrifying old Mrs Jones or stealing your purse.

Petra

14/10/2009 at 09:27

I do not agree with Halloween BUT - DOES ANYONE ACTUALLY KNOW WHERE IT CAME FROM BECAUSE I DO! As do many Christians. It means All Hallows, and it came from a time where many Christians were put to death because they loved Jesus. All Hallows also means All Saints, so the Catholic Church celebrates All Saints Day around this time. This in turn was made into Halloween Day in America, then spread throughout the world. But who would want to celebrate a day that many people died on because of their love of Jesus? These are VALUES. Halloween just came from this and got twisted somehow along the way and became all about getting sweets from people's houses and dressing up as scary creatures, and the pumpkin thing? Come on! Pumpkins belong with a Sunday roast. Now, is everybody educated? Thank you for reading this.

Patricia

18/10/2009 at 15:50

I too despise this imported tradition of Halloween, not because it is American, but because the notion of celebrating demonic, and evil supernatural figures is just plain weird. Why is conjuring up images of monsters and threatening spirits appealing to people??

I really can't understand how this tradition gained popularity in the first place. Possibly it is the American't obsession with violence, which is so evident in their cinema etc. Children are smart, and need to understand why you celebrate certain events in history and understand the overraching theme behind certain celebrations. What is the overarching theme behind Halloween??

O

20/10/2009 at 18:19

I think it is pretty ignorant to think Halloween is only celebrating by going trick or treating in neighborhoods or having adult costume parties. I am a mother of a toddler and most mother's do not do those things. And, normally it is not CANDY that is given out all the time...it is coloring books, crayons, little toys, and so on. Another Halloween event that we do with kids is to go to Pumpkin Patches and pick out a pumpkin and take them on a hay ride. Halloween is about Tradition, getting involved in the community, and teaching the kids creativity.

Nicholas Del Vecchio

21/10/2009 at 18:49

I live in Brisbane Australia. I think we are being over fussed about halloween. Its a fun thing for kids and its a great holiday for the parents and so on. If we bring it to Australia we should change it a bit i think. instead of carved pumkins lets have something else more australian. It is to American but we can make it more Australian. Itstead of candy its lollies and so on. We can make it more australian and make it more suitable for Australia. Lets stop fighting about it and just make it better.

mnkygrl

24/10/2009 at 17:40

It's not an "American" holiday. It IS big in the U.S.- but ALLl the holidays are big in the U.S.

Halloween originated in what is now modern day United Kingdom, Northern France, and Ireland. The actual trick-or-treating is said to have started in England during the eve of All Saint's Day when beggar children went door to door asking for "soul cakes" in exchange for prayers for their dead. Trick or treating was imported from European immigrants who came to the US, especially the Irish.

In the U.S. most people don't dress up as demons and monsters. You can be whatever you want to be. And why is it ok to give kids chocolate easter eggs at Easter time, but wrong to give them lollies for halloween?

Kids LOVE halloween, and adults love seeing them in their cute costumes (which is why they give them candy) It's a shame some misinformed parents in Oz won't let them celebrate it. If they don't want them trick-or-treating, fine. But why not allow them to have a part

LOVE HALLOWEEN

28/10/2009 at 13:35

We are an Australian family and have just come back to Australia after living in the US for 6 years. I am so disappointed by the anti-American sentiments above. Just about all of the Americans we met love Australians - it seems that so many Australians have closed minds and hearts!
The Halloween we experienced in the US was fabulous, our children would dress up as all manner of things ranging from a bee to Superman and Star Wars characters. We never had anyone throw eggs or play tricks on our house! The tradition was to have the porch light on if you had treats. If the house was dark the children knew not to knock. I think something like that would be great for Australia - either the porch light on or a balloon on the gate to indicate to children that they are welcome to knock and receive treats.
Halloween is a time to build community, parents and children get out and meet the neighbours! We have fabulous memories of it and want to share it with our fellow Aussies!

bella

28/10/2009 at 21:27

halloween is awesome.
Your just jelous that your not a kid and don't get CANDY
;D
ha-ha-HA

Marianne

30/10/2009 at 15:43

I'm an American living in Australia with my Australian husband and 2 Australian children. In America, as a kid, I liked Halloween. Here, it just confuses me. My daughter came home in tears from school because she said everyone in her class is going trick-or-treating. But in my neighborhood it's not common (I've only had one family of kids come to my house in 5 years), and I don't think most people in my neighborhood are prepared for it. Maybe in the newer housing developments with lots of young kids it's different, but I didn't even think to buy CANDY. I dunno, maybe I'll pick some up tomorrow just in case. Maybe next year I will plan a Halloween party with some other parents. For this year, we will have a family party -- watch a semi-scary movie in costume and eat chocolate.

BLUE

31/10/2009 at 06:51

Halloween is really stupid making Australian kids beggars.

kel

31/10/2009 at 07:32

hi there

im form new zealand.
halloween isnt hugely celebrated here, but its getting more popular.

I have young children, under 3 actually, and i dont want to be taking them out at there young age, they can when theyre older. Plus the weather doesnt look great here today, so tonight it might rain .

My question is, what can i do to let the kids and parents know that are trick or treating, that my house has no lollies, or dont want to participate in halloween?

Do i write out a sign saying "sorry no lollies here!" and put it on my mail box??
Someone tole me to put a plastic bag over my mail box lol, but i doubt they'd know what that meant !

Can someone get back to me asap please.
Halloweens tonight, but no doubt the kids will start early.

Thanks!!

Terriberry

10/11/2009 at 22:40

Actually, if anyone had of done their homework they would know that the tradition "halloween" actually came from Ireland. I repeat, IRELAND. I just think it should be THEIR thing. What I would like to know is, who the stupid person was in america that came up with the idea of turning up on a stranger's door giving the kids treats? If their with a parent thats okay, otherwise well hey don't go fretting when you get a call from the police saying they have been chopped up into little pieces. Despite the fact it is a big thing over in america, ireland is where the real celebration is or was. The irish went to america to carry on the tradition. The whole thing is ridiculous.All I do is laugh at all the ones who celebrate it here in australia, all dressed up wearing spider earings, witches hat etc. Oh and kids don't need candy. Their better off being given a tooth brush. Shame I didn't get any kids around at my place this year, I had my dirty tooth brushes all ready to give to them

Terriberry

10/11/2009 at 23:02

Halloween originated in Ireland as an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain, which was celebration of the end of the harvest season, it is still sometimes referred to as Celtic New Year. The Celts believed that on October 31 the boundary between the living and the dead was dissolved, the dead walked the earth causing sickness and damaging crops. They Celts would light bonfires to ward off evil spirits, they would also don masks and costumes to mimic the spirits in an attempt to placate them. To this day, people in Ireland dress up as creatures from the underworld. There are also other traditions which have developed and evolved over the years, including:

Colcannon - This is the dish that is traditionally cooked for dinner on Halloween night. It contains potatoes, cabbage and onion.

Terriberry

10/11/2009 at 23:04

Barmbrack - This is the traditional cake for Halloween. It is a fruit bread The Halloween Brack traditionally contains various objects baked into the bread. Each member of the family is given a slice, in the barmbrack are placed a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin and a ring. Each item, when received in the slice, is supposed to carry a meaning to the person concerned: the pea, the person would not marry that year; the stick, "to beat one's wife with", would have an unhappy marriage or continually be in disputes; the cloth or rag, would have bad luck or be poor; the coin, would enjoy good fortune or be rich; and the ring, would be married within the year

The Ivy Leaf- Each member of the family places a perfect ivy leaf into a cup of water and it is then left undisturbed overnight. If, in the morning, a leaf is still perfect and has not developed any spots then the person who placed the leaf in the cup can be sure of 12 months health until the following Halloween

Terriberry

10/11/2009 at 23:06

Jack O'Lanterns - The legend relates that a young blacksmith made a pact with the devil, he was denied entry into Heaven and was condemned to wander the roads of Ireland. He was allowed to carry a burning ember which he placed inside a gouged out turnip. People hung turnips in the windows of their homes to ward off evil spirits. When the Irish arrived in America they continued the tradition but because of the scarcity of turnips they used pumpkins instead.

Terriberry

10/11/2009 at 23:07

Halloween Games - Games are often played, such as bobbing for apples, where apples, peanuts and other nuts and fruit and some small coins are placed in a basin of water. The apples and nuts float, but the coins, which sink, are harder to catch. Everyone takes turns catching as many items possible using only their mouths. In some households, the coins are embedded in the fruit for the children to "earn" as they catch each apple. Another common game involves the hands-free eating of an apple hung on a string attached to the ceiling

Terri

11/11/2009 at 15:35

Oh well,there we go again haha. Celebrating nothing.

Terriberry

11/11/2009 at 19:26

Class dissmissed

Lisa

19/10/2010 at 10:04

Just imagine how much fun Christmas would be if we didnt adopt the American/Canadian version of Santa Claus. Oh and who ate McDonalds today :)

Some Woman

14/03/2011 at 22:56

I just hate the fact that Australia hates Halloween, which was NOT started in the United States! If Australia hates Halloween, then they hate Christmas and Easter, as well! I'm just suprised that it's not been banned there!

no trick no treater woman

20/10/2011 at 13:22

yep..hate it...i dont hate many things but i'm with you heart and soul!! I ABSOLUTELY HATE IT...the whole idea and concept...
i put signs around my house saying: 'NO TRICK OR TREATING HERE PLEASE'! an I dont care what the neighbours think! they can eat their own candy!! ahh...err....'lollie's....and no i'm not a party pooper..i love to have fun..i just HATE halloween or anything creepy!!!

emma

30/10/2011 at 09:37

I can't stand kids walking about knocking on peoples doors and asking for lollies. Sure decorate, dress up and run around in the park somewhere with your friends or at home but don't go bothering everyone all night long. Our kids don't need more junk food or to knock on strangers doors. Also it is soooo commercial - it is just another occasion to spend $$ on cheap plastic crap. I really do not get people who LOOOOVE it.

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