Halloween

I do not get all the Halloween hate in Australia. People get so unreasonably outraged about it and act like it’s a hill to die on, to prove that Halloween is something that only happens in America and never in Australia. Which is utterly ridiculous. Halloween comes from All Hallows Eve, which is Pagan, and Australians don’t seem to have a problem with things like Easter eggs or Christmas trees, both of which are Pagan. And America is far from the only place on earth to celebrate Halloween. Anybody who argues that it’s strictly American must have a very shallow understanding of how cultures melt together – which is hilarious in the context of how Australian culture is a melting pot too. And the last thing is… at the end of the day, Halloween is really just a bit of fun. There is no great pressure on anybody, no great expense, no arduous expectations. It’s just an excuse to wear a cute costume and, if you like, go beg your neighbours for lollies. Which they are under no obligation to give. If you don’t want to participate, then don’t answer the door. There really is no need to go on epic rants in the comments section on facebook posts about how we’re Australian and anybody celebrating Halloween is stupid. It just makes you look like a massive killjoy and culturally isolated. Like the kind of person who doesn’t eat pasta because it’s too ‘ethnic’ for them.

It’s also a bit ridiculous that nobody seems to have any problems with celebrating Oktoberfest or St Patrick’s Day, but Halloween is just a step too far. If you don’t like it, then don’t do it. Nobody is forcing you to open your door or dress up. It just seems totally mean-spirited to try and dump on other people’s fun though.

Anyway. I have a special reason for loving Halloween – growing up in Taiwan, it was a big deal. Making our costumes from scratch every year was so much fun, even if my sisters and I would usually end up with variations of the same costume because that was what we had fabric for. One year, we decorated the whole house with plastic spiders and fake cobwebs, and watched scary movies on HBO. I remember there was one about a haunted voodoo doll that somebody brought back from the jungle, and something about vampires called Bordello of Blood. Not that I had any idea what a bordello was as a ten year old.

This year, we’re not doing much. The dogs get so rattled every time somebody knocks on the door, so we’re leaving a big bowl of candy on the front porch so people can help themselves. We didn’t make jack o’lanterns this year, just little pumpkins everywhere. Because of my Bali trips, this is the first time in years that I’ve actually been home on Halloween, but with all the wedding stuff, I just haven’t been organized enough to decorate much. It’s a pity we’re in the southern hemisphere – the place that I get my heirloom seeds from has a decorative gourd pack that has some of the most amazing pumpkins and squashes that would be perfect for decorating, but of course, it’s not autumn here.

My little unicorn and hot dog. P+R are thrilled to be wearing costumes (not). I cannot believe how many outfits and costumes these two dogs own. Sometimes they love dressing up, other times they act like they are being tortured – today was one of those days. But they did better than me… I didn’t dress up at all this year, unless you count wriggling into my mermaid tail for ten minutes and flipping my fins around.