A Great Start to Halloween

Halloween certainly lived up to its creepy reputation this morning with a moderate fog in Christchurch.  On the drive to work, I snapped a few shots I’d like to share with you  (No, I wasn’t driving…) and my story of how Halloween has evolved in New Zealand since I have lived here.

Trees enshrouded by fog at the Northwood roundabout on Halloween morning 2012
Trees enshrouded by fog at the Northwood roundabout on Halloween morning 2012

The view down our street was rather ominous as well…

The end of our street disappearing into the fog
The end of our street disappearing into the fog on Halloween morning 2012

The mood for Halloween… excellent!

St. Bede's College grounds covered in fog on Halloween morning 2012
St. Bede’s College grounds covered in fog on Halloween morning 2012

Now, Halloween has not always been a huge holiday here in New Zealand like it is in the USA, where I grew up.  One of my most favourite (although saddest) stories happened in my first year in New Zealand.  Convinced that we would get trick-or-treaters since we lived on a busy road across from a grade school, I purchased what can only be described as a truckload of candy.  My partner Noel (a Kiwi) told me I was spending what little money I did have at the time on something that could go to waste.

Well, he was right.  We didn’t get one trick-or-treater.  I sat in the bedroom that faced the driveway and road by myself, bucket full of candy.  Had I seen myself from the outside, I probably had a big sad face on, bottom lip trembling, eyes wide and welling with tears.  It wouldn’t’ve been pretty.

The next year, I decided not to buy candy.  Of course, Murphy stepped in with his prick of a law, and we got a trick-or-treater, a cute little kid about 5 years old.  I ransacked the cupboards to find we had no candy, so I ended up giving the boy $5 (because it was all I had).  The mother was probably embarrassed, I was slightly upset I had no candy for the child, and the boy was in hog heaven because he now had a whole five dollars.  If he were anything like me at that age, my mind would have filled with the vast possibilities of what I could buy with that $5.

After we moved to our current house in a new subdivision full of families, Halloween became more of an event.  Every year, we put up some decorations, and we once again buy a truckload (or two) of candy.  More often than not, most of the candy is gone by evening’s end.  (I’m a bit naughty because I tell kids to dig in, grab a huge handful of candy.  You only live once, right?)

My theory is that Halloween is supposed to be a fun (although sometimes frightening) holiday for kids and young adults… and maybe even adults too.  Even though it evolved from various traditions, some religious, some pagan (depending on whom you speak to), it now represents a chance to dress up, have some fun with your friends, and get some candy as a reward for having fun and showing off your costume.

So, what are you doing for Halloween this year?  I’d love to hear.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

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