Halloween in New Zealand has a patchy history. Apart from it being completely the wrong time of year, our migrants pretty much shed all the old traditions for All Hallow’s Eve – Scottish guising, for example, didn’t survive over here with our Scottish migrants. Nevertheless Halloween, and trick or treating in particular, has crept upwards in popularity since everyone went to see E.T. in 1982. It’s still an uncommon pursuit over here, though, and lots of people really don’t like it for all sorts of reasons (which is completely fine of course).
I do like it, though. Kids in costumes is just fun. It can be a lovely, lightweight way to build community, if the conditions are right. And I happen to live in a place where the conditions are right – lots of children in a very walkable suburb with quiet, safe streets.
So for the second year in a row we’re welcoming trick or treaters. If I had my way, shops in NZ would sell “Trick or treaters are welcome here” signs so that people who want the visit can let it be known, and everyone else can happily be left alone. In the absence of that – I’ve made my own.
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Looking forward to tonight!