I think I’m going to put on my crusty curmudgeon hat and say “I hate Halloween”. I’m the sort of person who when kids come trick or treating says “your costumes look neat but we don’t do Halloween here”.
Why? Well let’s start with:
- When did we start celebrating Halloween? Only in the last 10 or 15 years when the chain stores realised there was a buck to be made. Then they started promoting it like it had always been a Kiwi thing.
- Allegedly it’s a time for kids to have fun but really it seems more like a thing for adults. They are either having Halloween parties and dressing up, or they are dressing up their kids.
- It represents the triumph of American culture – Halloween is very much an American tradition which we have seen in films and television.
- In many parts of the world All Saints Day is a time to remember the dead – not scary ghouls but real people you loved and who have died. The commercial takeover seems crass.
- Halloween rituals make sense in the northern hemisphere where bonfires and lanterns are light against the encroaching darkness of the long Northern winter. Not so much in springtime New Zealand where the days are lighter and longer.
How do you feel about Halloween?
An alternative to Halloween which is green and rooted in Aotearoa’s cycle of seasons and cultural influences is suggested: National Green Day. Perfect for high spring: planting rituals like getting your tomatoes in, planting and enjoying fragrant native plants, harvesting the ti (tea tree), the return of pipiwharauroa (the shining cuckoo), enjoying the song of the riroriro (grey warbler).
Anyway grumps over – if Halloween is your bag we have lots of stuff to help celebrate the day: