Australia has long been resistant to the idea of celebrating Halloween, considering it an American holiday that’s out of place in our culture. However, those views recently started to change, and over the past ten years, it has become increasingly popular. Australians have begun to recognise Halloween as a great opportunity to get involved in community events, decorating, dressing up, and having fun.
What is Halloween About?
Although commonly thought of as an American holiday, Halloween actually originates from the Celtic festival Samhain. Celebrated on October 31st, Samhain marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter, the eve of the Celtic New Year (November 1st). The Ancient Celts believed that on this night, the barrier between our world and the spirit world became thin, and ghosts and spirits could roam through freely.
In later years, Pope Gregory IV set the date of the Christian holiday All Hallows’ Day to coincide with the Celtic New year. The night before became “All Hallows’ Eve,” giving us the modern name “Halloween.” Both Samhain and All Hallows’ Eve celebrations involved bonfires and dressing in costumes to banish evil spirits and commemorate the dead.
Should Australia welcome Halloween?
We already celebrate Christmas and Easter, both of which have their origins from pagan and Christian influence in Great Britain, so why not Halloween? It involves fun, food, and festivities and brings people together.
Halloween provides an excellent opportunity to get out of the house and interact with others in the neighbourhood. In our increasingly busy lifestyles and social isolation, it builds community, and it’s fun for the kids to dress up, go for an outing, and collect sweets. If you’re one of the “back in my day, we knew our neighbours” or “kids these days spend too much time on technology,” folks, this is the holiday for you!
If you’re still worried about embracing a commercialised American Holiday, you’ll be glad to know that the Aussies celebrating Halloween have adapted their own approach. Here, our focus is more on the fun, socialising, and treats than the ‘trick.’ Communities have started hosting family-friendly events, providing new ways of bringing people together, and having fun doing it.
Another wonderful aspect of Halloween is that it’s opt-in; you don’t have to participate (though it’s a lot more fun if you do). If you do want to join the festivities, a great way to signal your involvement is to put up decorations. Creating a display in your front yard or windows for you and others to enjoy will also let the kids in costume know they’re welcome to knock on your door for treats.
Decorating for Halloween
Traditionally Jack ‘O Lanterns are the way to go, though you can now find all kinds of yard decorations. If garden decorations aren’t something you want to set up (or you have limited space), another great option is to use window decals. Printed on static cling, they are a fun and tasteful way to join in on the Halloween fun and are easy to put up and pack up.
They can be used either as a stand-alone or in addition to a wider decorative set-up. Suitable for your shop front, our Halloween decals are mess-free. By printing on static cling, we remove the hassle of cleaning sticky residue off the window.
Click here to view our selection of Halloween Window decals.