This year, the second of the plague, I think the end (for now) of our lockdown has left people needing to cheer themselves up a bit.
Which is why Halloween seems to have been celebrated a little more fully, even though it is a uniquely American tradition whose import to Australia still seems rather bizarre to me.
For the first time, I actually decided to play nice rather than grinch out and bought a few bags of chocolate frogs and wrapped lollies, which I left out in a bowl at my front gate, all covid-safe. I passed the evening sipping summery wine (ie sparking and rose) with one of my friends who lives in the next suburb along, watching the trick or treaters come by with their adult supervision from my front verandah.
From passing comments with the grown ups, some of whom were wearing pretty elaborate costumes, I think that once the kids were asleep, the Halloween parties were really going to get going, in celebration of the prospect that perhaps we finally have our freedom back.
And why not? After the past 19 months, people need something to cheer them up, and why should it not be a festival where the dead rise and walk the earth again?
Quite true. I came around a few years ago to accepting that Halloween can be fun. I stopped posting my protest (a pumpkin carved with the words f@#$ off) and also decided to stop being a Halloween grinch. We already imported the Irish festivities of St Patrick’s day, and the Italian Love fest of St Valentine. If you’re from Fremantle you’d also be familiar with the blessing of the fleet festivities where the predominantly Sicilian immigrant fishermen parade effigies of the Madonna dei martiri through the streets. And what a spectacle it is.
I think Australia should embrace more cultural festivals. Afterall, we are an immigrant country. I simply hope that your new found fondness of Halloween wasn’t derived entirely from your article’s leading photograph. But hey, who cares if it was? Trick or treat?
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