Hope everyone had a great time celebrating Halloween!
In Australia, there’s currently a lot of debate about whether Australians should be celebrating Halloween, whether it’s an ‘Australian thing’, whether people should be allowed to go trick-or-treating, whether kids should be able to have that much candy, etc, etc.
To me, all these concerns seem like the concerns of people who have too much time on their hands. I’ve always loved the spooky fun mood of Halloween, my friends and I have always celebrated Halloween, whether in Malaysia or in Australia – we don’t go trick-or-treating because we’re practical enough to expect that most folks who don’t live in America wouldn’t know to prep candy ahead of time but we always throw a big Halloween party or dress up and that’s a lot of fun!
Besides, Halloween occurs just before All Souls Day and All Saints Day (and I believe all these days have ties with each other within their origins but I’m too lazy to go into all that now so I’ll leave it to those who are interested to Google this for yourselves). I always remember accompany my mother to Catholic masses on these particular feast days.
And then there’s always the traditional Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival which doesn’t necessarily occur around late October/early November but always reminds me of Halloween – the Chinese would burn incense and paper money for the dead and us kids back in Malaysia would always try to scare each other, warning each other to look over our shoulders as we enter our houses to make sure a ghost wasn’t following you into your home, uninvited. Once, someone told me this story about a friend they had dropped off home. As she waited for the electronic gate to her home to open, someone in the car called out to her to make sure she looked behind her shoulder to prevent the ghosts following her. She glanced over her shoulder, failing to watch out for the opening gate, and it hit her on her head!
So, yeah, it’s pretty much a similar celebration through many cultures worldwide, and really, even though the traditions have changed a lot over the years and yes, it’s been highly commercialised these days, still who can’t resist the delicious thrill of the spookiness of a holiday that has names like All Hallow’s Eve, All Souls Day or the Hungry Ghost Festival? I’d celebrate anything just for the fun of a name like that!
In keeping with the spirit, this year, I decided to dress up as a Mexican Day of the Dead calaveras bride and had fun celebrating Halloween!
Here’s to next year’s Halloween! x