As someone who did not grow up with Halloween, it’s fascinating (and concerning) to see my kids growing up wanting to partake in it. So I thought I’d delve a little deeper to provide some information to us all about Halloween – as well as my feelings on the matter.
WHAT IS HALLOWEEN? WHY IS IT A THING?
Halloween first made it’s appearance about 2,000 years ago in the United Kingdom, Ireland and other parts of Europe.
At the end of Summer, Celtics thought the barrier between our world and the world of ghosts and spirits got really thin. This meant weird creatures with strange powers could wander about on Earth.
They would have a big party in the hopes it would scare away the ghosts and spirits.
Then when the Irish immigrated to the United States during the 19th Century, they brought their Halloween festival with them; and it really took off.
During the 20th century it became more and more popular, with traditions like pumpkin carving and trick or treating becoming part of TV shows, books and movies.
Obviously there’s more to Halloween than what I’ve written, but I’ve given you the basics. I highly recommend you researching it more if you’re interested in it 🙂
HALLOWEEN IN NEW ZEALAND
Now when it comes to New Zealand, it’s a relatively NEW thing. We don’t have pumpkin carvings, and trick or treating is taking off very slowly – but it is becoming a thing.
I remember my parents saying “Halloween is just an American thing, nothing to do with New Zealand”.
Reality is though, our society is heavily influenced by what America does; and with the invention of the internet, our children now have access to YouTube – where there are a lot of Halloween related videos.
My children already know that Halloween means you get to dress up and you might get lollies.
Each year, it becomes more and more intense – Shops used to stock only a couple of things for Halloween, and now there are AISLES full of costumes, decorations and lollies.
For a few years now, we have had people coming and trick or treating to our door, but we haven’t had any lollies, because I never know if people are going to actually come and I don’t want a million lollies left in the house.
Whether you’re sure or not about Halloween, check out this Police NZ advice blog – it contains good info,and signs that you can print for your door – if you want to tell people you aren’t into Halloween or are into it.
ANYWAY – I’ve done some research, and used my own thoughts to create a couple of tips / things to think about when it comes to Halloween …
1. TRICK OR TREATING
This is where a lot of parents have an issue – sending the kids out to people’s houses they don’t know, asking for lollies. Not everyone in New Zealand is up with the “trick or treating” thing, so it really does pay to tread carefully here.
You can pre-visit the neighbours house and ask if it’s ok to send your kids over on Halloween (no matter if they have lollies or not). Or you can risk it and all go trick-or-treating together.
Just remind your children that not everyone will have lollies at their house because not everyone is a fan of Halloween.
2. TRUNK OR TREAT
This is one idea that I’ve seen in small communities across America. Parents get together with their cars, in a public area, and the kids go from “trunk to trunk” trick-or-treating. This means everyone knows everyone, and it’s in a safe and secure environment.
You could even encourage your local school to get involved and make it a trick-or-treating event.
I personally much prefer this idea because then you know who is going to be there, you don’t have to worry about strangers or kids talking to strangers.
You don’t HAVE to buy a costume, but if you want to there are always so many available at The Warehouse, Farmers, Kmart, local emporiums or bargain shops.
If money is an issue, just get your kids to create something at home using your own clothes! Dressing up is a lot of fun!
The one thing about Halloween that kids tend to love is dressing up AND consuming loads of sugar. If dosing your child up on lollies isn’t your thing, there are many ways to get around it – I’ve got a “Healthy Halloween Snack” post here, but you can also search through Pinterest and check out the other amazing ideas people have had.
Whatever your thoughts are on Halloween, it’s not going anywhere. In New Zealand it’s only going to get bigger and become more accepted. Be sure to check out this Police NZ advice blog – it contains good info, and signs that you can print for your door – if you want to tell people you aren’t into Halloween or are into it.
Do you let your kids partake in Halloween?