Halloween as we saw it

Halloween has been and gone, as has October.

October’s Month of Softies
can be seen in the gallery over at flickr. I have also announced the new theme for November which can be found in the discussion board there too. Thank you to everyone who has taken part again this month! I am sorry the whole thing is petering out a little, but it is still going on for those who are dedicated. One of these days I hope to get some time to work on an actual MOS project — not just the theme idea!

Here in Australia we don’t really do a lot for Halloween. When I was a kid in Adelaide (back in the 70s, baby) we decided to go trick or treating one year, and it was so unheard of that we attracted blank stares from most of the faces behind screen doors. The following year we were canny enough to distribute brochures around the block during the week before halloween explaining what it was all about. I remember the brochure very clearly – a slip of paper with a few short facts (mostly about the giving of sweets, I am sure) and a fantastic ghost made out of a cotton wool ball with black marker eyes and mouth stuck on at the top. Our success rate was slightly better that year but still not fantastic.

So now that most things North American have slowly but surely permeated our culture, Halloween is a slightly more recognised excuse for a party. Someone going out to trick-or-treat is still a very rare occurrence, reserved mostly for teenagers who have nothing better to do. I think I can remember only two little kids dropping by in the last 20 years. However, last year I did notice a couple of those round, perfectly orange jack o’ lantern pumpkins for sale at the market along side the usual ugly lumpy ones. As Amelia is part Canadian I feel it is important to acknowledge the child’s heritage on both sides especially because this time it involves costumes, spooks and candy. So last week we bought a pumpkin and Big-P showed us antipodean folk how to carve a spooky face into the hard flesh. I was a little concerned as he wildly wielded the carving knife as the pumpkin cost me $21 (!!) but he was quite the expert. So it sat on the front verandah and look very scary for the evening. Of course, as usual no one came by to appreciate it or ask for sweets, but that was our little tribute to Halloween