Some people can’t wait until Christmas. Others are big into their birthdays. Some go all out for St Patrick’s Day, and some say Thanksgiving is their favourite time of year.
For me, it’s Halloween.
I love Halloween. Since I was a kid, it’s been my favourite non-holiday, full of fun and candy and drinking and dancing and trying to come up with a kickass costume. I go all out for Halloween, and I absolutely adore it.
New Zealand, on the other hand, couldn’t care less about Halloween.
I mean, they “know” about Halloween, but they don’t “get” Halloween. Some parents take some kids out out, but once someone reaches 9 or 10, Halloween effectively ends. No drunk 20 year olds making bad decisions, no drunk 30 year olds spending far too much money on costumes…Halloween is strictly for kids.
And they think Halloween is weird! WEIRD! Like there’s some weird thing about going door to door and asking for candy from strangers. ….which I guess is a bit weird, but it’s also the best.
Kiwis love dressing up though! There are costume shops that are open year-round for what they call “Fancy Dress” parties. Turning 21? Throw a fancy dress (aka – costume) party!** Got engaged? Throw a fancy dress party! Rugby game? Throw a fancy dress party! Kiwis are super into dressing up…just not for Halloween.
It’s catching on, though. Anyone who’s ever been to New Zealand will joke that the country is about 10 years behind the times (which is charmingly true), and I think, slowly, Halloween is catching on. They played some scary movies over the weekend and the logo thing for channel 2 is a jack-o-lant…
…that’s the other thing! They don’t have ‘proper’ pumpkins here so you can’t even carve a frigging pumpkin! They’d have to go all old school with turnips or something. My friends didn’t even BUY candy on the off-chance that kids would come by. IT’S JUST NOT A THING.
…where was I?
Halloween is catching on here. More and more kids are going out, I think, and a few clubs/bars are having Halloween nights where you get in free if you dress up. I should have held a Halloween party and been crowned the forefather the New Zealand Hallowlution. Missed opportunity.
It’s been weird to see all my friends back home get hyped up about Halloween and not be able to participate, and it really does feel weird to be here, on Halloween, and not see any decorations or costumes or bags of candy or…anything.
Luckily my spirit is still alive and well, so I dressed up as a Habitant, which I’ll just tell everyone at work is a Canadian lumberjack, and made cupcakes for the office which I’m going to MAKE my colleagues say “Trick or Treat” for. “SEE GUYS THIS IS A FUN HOLIDAY NOW EAT YOUR POORLY MADE CUPCAKE”.
**Also, the 21st birthday here is MASSIVE. Like, your 21st is THE party you dream about when you’re a little kid. Family, friends, there are traditional decorative house keys given to signify someone becoming an adult…they’re massive.