Whilst some of us breathe a sigh of relief in that long stretch between Easter and Christmas others of us find it a little drab. So, if you love a bit of festive spirit and can't wait until the big red man graces your fireplace once more , try investing in an American tradition and celebrate Halloween this October.
Halloween occurs annually on October 31st. It's origins began with the Celts and in short, marks the tradition of disembodied spirits searching for new bodies to possess for the next year. Whether you believe this or not, the celebration of Halloween is enjoyed by children and adults around the world.
The first port of call for any committed Halloweener is a costume shop like Costumebox. Search from home for the perfect ghoulish outfit. With next day delivery, the costume box saves you the trouble of shopping. It's also a great way to gather ideas if you prefer to try something homemade. Some typical characters seen on any ghostly Halloween eve are witches, ghosts, mummies, ghouls, vampires and headless figures.
Not only is it expected that a Halloween participant dress in costume but there is a long held ritual of decorating the neighbourhood with dark and creepy symbols. A stereotypical Halloween icon is the jack-o lantern or pumpkin head. Resources like Spookmaster offer great pumpkin carving ideas and patterns that can be downloaded. There are plenty of other great decorating ideas for your little monsters including these from Halloween online. For example:
1)"Make a scarecrow for your front porch or yard to greet your trick or treaters. Stuff jeans and an old shirt with newspaper, use a stuffed mask or plastic pumpkin for the head. Add some straw for effect."
2)For an eerie effect, hang glow-in-the-dark bats, skeletons and spiders from the ceilings and trees! Write scary Halloween messages or body outlines on your front walk using coloured chalk or washable fluorescent paint. Use black lights to enhance the effect.
3)Create creepy autumn centrepieces by filling vases with dried flowers, brown leaves, and empty branches. Tie a black ribbon bow around each centrepiece."
When the moon is high , the owls are screeching, houses are dressed, faces are painted, masks are on and Halloweeners are dressed in their spookiest best, they can then take to the night and "Trick or treat". This amounts to knocking on doors and demanding bag- loads of lollies and gifts from unsuspecting neighbours or alternatively, filling their exhaust pipes full of sawdust when they produce an empty candy bowl. Our Australian counterparts may be a little stingy in some instances but if you pick your street, sometimes you can be lucky.
At the point the neighbourhood has been drained of all sweet treats, most "trick- or- treaters" would prefer to crawl up in ball in a dark room and rest their stomachs but for the die hard fan, there are some great scary party foods to enjoy like those found on Halloween Australia. A selection of devilishly creative snacks with a Halloween theme such as- "witches fingers" "gruesome grins" "Red back spiders" and "coffin corn chips."
This holiday is not complete without a few gory games. Some classics are "Bobbing for apples" and "Hangman" but a simple ghostly storytelling can be equally as entertaining. Follow that with a few horror films like, "The Simpson's Halloween Specials", or for the older viewer, "The Halloween series I, II & III", "Trick 'r' Treat" or "Hocus pocus", and one sinister night has been had by all.
Although Australia as a whole does not necessarily embrace the spirit of Halloween each year, along with these ideas, there is no shortage of websites and shops providing all the inspiration you need to get you in the mood. Simply Google "Halloween" and watch your holiday come alive.