In Australia we don’t particularly celebrate Halloween, although there have been attempts by various chain stores to consumerise the day with cheap and nasty costumes and plastic pumpkins (we are in spring here, our autumnal harvest – including pumpkins – doesn’t occur for another 6 months!) Personally, I don’t really see the point in Halloween either. I LOVE the idea of trick or treating, of dressing up, and of all things scary and kookie, but just why is there a special day of the year to do that....I just don’t follow it? Couldn't I host a ghoul party any time of year if I wanted? Don't get me wrong, I am not criticising, just a bit confused by it all.... If any of my North American readers can enlighten me I would love to hear your various views on the role of Halloween in western culture.......
As a child I was quite enthralled by the mystery and intrigue of the world of kookie, goth,dark fairy tale type culture. Who didn’t adore The Addams Family, The Munsters, fairy tales with evil witches, ghost stories, classic tales like Frankenstein and Dracula, and of course, the plethora of really ‘bad’ sci-fi movies from the 50’s. I wonder what it is about ‘dark culture’ that is so weirdly appealing? Is there something almost glamorous, in a mysterious way, about it all? As an 18 year old I chose to go to my year 12 fancy dress night as Mortisha Addams....I am afraid that any other character just didn’t get a guernsey as being remotely attractive – unless it was Wonder Woman, but knee high red boots were just too hard to come by in my little home town in 1992!!
Speaking of which, the Salvation Army in the township of Echuca conducts a huge childrens event on Halloween, and calls it Heroeen, encouraging children to dress as their hero’s and participate in some great games, competitions and party food....it has been a really big hit with the community, particularly young families and looks set to continue for many years to come. I like the idea of wanting to promote positivity and good role models to my kids.........
What is your experience with Halloween? Do you think it has a place in Australian culture? As for me, this Halloween I think I will sit down with a hot cocoa and watch my favourite kookie movie, Mars Attacks, and simply be thankful for the ability to have a bit of fun and a laugh.....I may even get out my Slim Whitman albums and play a bit of ‘Indian Love Call’, just to be safe !!!!
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