How We Celebrate Halloween in New Zealand
First, here’s a little Halloween background
It dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), first celebrated almost 2000 years ago. Halloween was first called ‘All Hallows’ Eve’ then eventually combined into what we call it now. Halloween occurs each year on 31st October, the day before what we call now, ‘All Saints Day’. It is celebrated in most of the Western World, particularly in America and Europe, but has been gaining popularity in New Zealand over the years. Unfortunately in kiwi land, it isn’t a public holiday.
So what can you do on the 31st of October in New Zealand?
Many children continue the ‘trick or treat’ tradition. This is when they get dressed up (often in something scary) and go door to door for treats. Depending on the neighbourhood, parents often go with the children to ensure they are safe from strangers and other trick or treaters. This can mean that the children end up with quite a loot at the end of the night.
In the Southern Hemisphere we are moving into the Summer months, so this often takes place when it is still light. Also at this time of year we don’t have the big orange pumpkins to carve, but you can just paint your classic NZ pumpkins to look orange. This definitely works!
Are you looking for ways to make your own Halloween costumes?
If ‘trick or treating’ seems a bit risky to you or you do not like the idea of sending your child out to beg or you simply do not believe in Halloween, then there are various parties that children can attend.
One example is the ‘Angels and Saints’ party. This is a disco type party for children to attend. They can dress up as their favourite Saint or Angel and dance the night away. There are refreshments on offer and they always have a good time. Parents can rest easy too, as it is a safe environment for the children. If not the ‘Angels and Saints’ party, there should be something happening locally around your town.
You can even have a party at home. The shops in New Zealand often have different Halloween decorations, costumes and treats you can buy and they are not always that expensive. If you have a party, children and adults can have fun and get into the spirit of Halloween. Don’t forget to consider our party bags for these occasions if you do not want to fill your children up on sugar.
Having a party at home? Here are some cool Halloween treat recipes.
If you are not one for dressing up, then you can catch a movie. Often there is a scary flick on in time for Halloween. You could also rent a movie and sit down and wait for the ‘trick or treaters’.
It looks like Halloween is starting to gain momentum in New Zealand, so whether you decide to join in or not, be prepared for a knock at the door. There are loads of treats that don’t cost much or be prepared for a ‘trick’. I think the main thing to remember is that children really like Halloween, so keep it exciting for them.