Halloween: We asked what you thought of this celebration … and got very different responses
Black Mirror’s White Christmas episode is happening IRL. What could possibly go wrong?
We knew Halloween was polarising, but when we asked you to tell us on Facebook Messenger what you thought about this celebration, we found out just how strongly you felt about it.
Hundreds of you got in touch to tell us why you love it … and why you don’t.
Here’s some of what you had to say.
No surprise, a lot of you aren’t fans of what you see as an American tradition
Robert S says it’s stupid:
“It has nothing to do with our culture or heritage but neither does it have anything to do with American culture or heritage either. Should be banned in both countries. It’s just been turned into one big money making scams for shops.”
Steph C is a teacher who’s SICK TO DEATH (her caps) of it:
“I’ve been asked to do Halloween craft for years — and every year I ask them what Halloween is about. Needless to say they have no idea (just lollies and spooky outfits). I always say, until they know what they want to ‘celebrate’, we won’t be doing Halloween activities! Ahhhh so American!”
Matthew M says it’s just another American capitalist exploitation of children:
“Cheap plastic costumes that will be worn once, and more sugar and glucose than a child would ever need consumed in one night!”
Rob G hates it too:
“It’s just an Americanism foisted on us by large corporations in a bid to scam more money out of us!”
Meanwhile, Carolyn B suspects Australians don’t know what it is they’re celebrating:
“For a start the season is wrong. Carving faces into pumpkins dates to the Celts as part of their autumnal celebration. It’s Spring in Australia so there’s no autumnal harvest to celebrate. Not only is it the time of year when seasons change, but also supposedly when the boundary between this world and the next becomes thin allowing people to connect with the dead. Do trick or treaters even know the meaning behind Halloween or is it just about lollies for them?”
And Jane W doesn’t think it’s safe:
“I hate Halloween as it encourages children to walk around neighbourhoods without adults looking for sugary treats, an American tradition with no place in Australia. Halloween makes fun and sugar interconnected doesn’t have place here in Australia.”
Then there’s the themes of the day …
Joyce S would be happy to do away with Halloween:
“I don’t like Halloween. I think it celebrated some idol, a god, or Satan. It celebrates death. Candy costs have become very expensive.”
Matthew S doesn’t like what it stands for either:
“I hate it, it has nothing to do with the event it originates from and there is something wrong in my eyes with celebrating demons and devils.”
And Rob M says Halloween is anti-Christian:
“Like it or not Australia as we know it has become the way it is because of Christianity’s influence.”
But a lot of you said it’s about community — and when else do we knock on the neighbour’s door anymore?
Melissa W is on board with Halloween in spite of the commercialisation:
“As Australians we love any excuse for a celebration WITH dress-ups so I understand the attraction. I do love that it brings families closer together sharing time creating costumes and theming. I say it’s here to stay so we should embrace it. Let the kids enjoy!”
Kate S says it’s a great way to break the ice with your neighbours and start a relationship with people you wouldn’t normally speak to:
“It also brings about a sense of community pride. As long as there is plenty of supervision and respect by both parties there is no reason to get your nose out of joint over something that is essentially fun and childlike.”
Megan M loves to see people in their neighbourhoods meeting and talking to each other:
“It’s a festive occasion where the community owns the street. We are connecting community, strengthening community, and reclaiming the night, with a whole lot of scary fun!”
Jan M used to think it was a bad thing …
“… but our street in Bayswater Perth becomes alive with a fabulous community feel!”
And if it’s just a bit of fun, does it matter where we got it from?
Dion said it’s just one evening in the year:
“Children enjoy dressing up and if it brings communities together I think the least adults can do is entertain the kids with a couple of sweets. Parents should accompany the young ones and people should accommodate the fun and join in the spirit of it.”
Emma M says it’s an excuse to dress up and have a fun evening with friends and family:
Who cares if it’s an “American tradition”, why can’t we enjoy it too?”
And anyway, Skei B says it’s not even American:
“It’s a spiritual/religious festival that is celebrated worldwide. It just happens to be fun. Just like Christmas is for non-Christians — can still take the day off work eat too much food, it’s the same thing.”
Kirsten T says it’s like Disneyland in the real world:
“It’s inclusive regardless of religion or other demographics. Plus trick or treating is a great way to hang out with your family and engage with your local community! If the candy part of it is so offensive … then why are Easter eggs OK? And if American culture is so offensive, why are we all obsessed with American food and movies? Anti-Halloween campaigners are like the Grinch who stole Christmas!”
Casey J grew up in America and said it was the most exciting night you could have as a kid:
You got to be out late and there wasn’t a single other night that was just swarming with other children and that was really nice too. And when else do you get to get all dressed up as your fantasy?