HALLOWEEN, which is celebrated on the eve of October 31, is an event that is becoming popular in Australia, and in recent years, Armidale has seen an increase in carved orange pumpkins on doorsteps, and ghoulishly dressed children ‘trick or treating’ through their local neighbourhood.
Some of us like it and some of us don’t.
Halloween is not strictly ‘an American thing’, but actually has it’s origins with Irish settlers who brought it to North America from Ireland, where it has a deep history that harkens back to medieval times to a night that celebrated the souls of those who had passed into the afterlife.
‘Hallowed Eve’, the night before the Christian celebration of All Souls Day, was thought to be a night where the veil between the material world and the afterlife was at its most transparent.
Of course, if you don’t like Halloween and don’t want to participate, then it is easy - just turn out your exterior lights as a ‘signal’ that you are not celebrating. Those people living alone may be nervous opening the door to strangers, and may not with to participate.
So, while Halloween seems to have made its way to Australia through our contact with United States, it should also be thought of as a rekindling of the older traditions of the Irish and Celtic ancestry, common to many Australians.
Think of it as a chance to meet your neighbours and have a bit of Celtic fun.