The night of horrors is nearly here – October, 31 – Halloween – make sure you have your mask or costume ready as your attempt to mimic or appease the evil spirits.
In Australia, the tradition of Halloween is starting to become an annual event – previously ignored here – more and more we are celebrating a tradition that most of us don’t really understand.
So, what is Halloween and where has it come from?
Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain which was a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops. The festival frequently involved bonfires as it was believed that the fires attracted insects to the area which also then attracted bats.
The history of Halloween has evolved with more and more countries embracing the holiday and participating in activities such as trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting ‘haunted houses’ and carving jack-o-lanterns.
The event has become much less about ghosts and ghouls and the sombre pagan ritual to a day of merriment and celebration with costumes and lollies being a major part of the festivities.
But love it or hate it, as this event gains popularity in Australia it is going to be more and more difficult to tell your children ‘no’ when they ask to go to a party or to go trick’-or-treating.
So, why not embrace it, get in on the fun. Join in with the children as they dress up as their favourite character and fill their bags and baskets with lollies. Throw away your inhibitions and objections and just kick back and have some fun.
But when you have those children, who have all probably been on sugar highs, all tucked up for the night, why not have your own celebration. Invite your friends around, light up the bonfire (if you are in an area that allows this of course) and use this date as an excuse for a party.
Make sure you have those pumpkins carved out nice and early, they do take quite a while to do. Light candles inside each of them to create spooky atmosphere. Fake spiders webs are available at craft and party stores (unless you have plenty of your own real ones) to drape around.
Enjoy spook night this Halloween.