alexandral: (Paranoid?)
[personal profile] alexandral
I didn't want to spoil anyone's fun yesterday with grumpy entries, but I do not understand Halloween. Mostly likely because I grew up in USSR where we never had this holiday. It fact, round about this time of year USSR used to have one of their biggest holidays of the year, "The October revolution day", celebrating the anniversary of the revolution in 1917. This was one of the biggest holidays, but not one of the favourite ones. Usually the fun consisted of big parades and demonstrations (in mostly freezing weather you get in Russia at this season) and lots of Lenin films shown on TV. The favourite time of the year it was not, at least not mine.
Tangentially, when the similarity between the date of "The October revolution day" and "All Hallows' Eve" was discovered in 90s, this produced much speculation and conspiracy theories about the "demonic" nature of the October Revolution of 1917. Seriously. :D

The other aspect of Halloween-underappreciation for me is the fact that I don't see why my kid or I should get dressed as a skeleton or a zombie or any other evil thing. I am quite literal and for me evil things are .. well.. evil. As I understand, in the USA people get dressed in all manner of fun costumes and this sounds like something that can potentially be fun. But here in the UK the costumes we get seem to be witch/ghoul/zombie/pumpkin. I have no desire to dress as any of those.

Also I don't think it is at all that safe for kids to be wondering dark streets alone, demanding sweets from strangers. Usually the little ones are accompanied by an adult, but I have seen several groups of 9-10-11-12 year olds wondering the streets unattended. Yes, I am paranoid, but I still don't think this is safe at all.

And the last thing, although may be this is the main thing, is that I do not like ANY of commercial holidays. I have a sneaky suspicion that they all are invented by "evil multinational corporations" that want to sell more of cheap sweets, cheap zombie masks and other stuff that we don't really need.

Just for fun: the old card with the battleship Aurora literally translates: "Glory to the Great October!"

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Date: 2011-11-01 03:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have a sneaky suspicion that they all are invented by "evil multinational corporations" that want to sell more of cheap sweets, cheap zombie masks and other stuff that we don't really need.

This is exactly how I feel about christmas, easter and thanksgiving. I also agree with what Halloween has become- it is commercial. I prefer the essence of Samhain.

Date: 2011-11-01 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Valentine's day is the worst, I think, but yes - the other ones too. I prefer to celebrate as low key as I can (nothing is wrong with some family time).

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From: [identity profile] - Date: 2011-11-02 10:25 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2011-11-01 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I enjoy holidays like Halloween and the other ones even though I can totally understand where you are coming from saying they are just commercial now.

I went out for Halloween growing up and I always enjoyed coming up with some costume and getting candy. When I was at university Halloween was more sexy/clever costumes and going out to parties which actually was fun lol. This year I just handed out candy, its cute to see all the little kids dressed up and the older ones can be pretty funny with their costumes. My sister was a witch this year, but I don't see Halloween costumes as anything other than fun so it doesn't really bother me if someone dresses up as something "evil".

Date: 2011-11-01 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You see, for me the costume party time was always the New Year, so this is not something I grew up with. I don't know, it must be different where you live, but here Halloween just feels so commercial and forced.
Edited Date: 2011-11-01 05:42 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-11-01 04:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Halloween is not native to Finland either. It wasn't celebrated here in any way when I was a kid but these day shops are full of all sorts of themed rubbish geared to separate your from your money. I don't think the 'trick & treat' part was adopted here though as I've never seen kids do it. It's just Halloween parties, mostly for adults.

Guess I don't get the appeal either.

Date: 2011-11-01 05:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, I think this is an USA thing, and I think it might be great in the cultural context of he USA, but it sort of feels a bit forced over here.

Date: 2011-11-01 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
When I was growing up in Ireland Halloween meant giant bonfires plus some celebrations (not much costumes and no trick or treating). Mind you, we used to jump through the bonfires when they alight, so that custom dying out is probably a good thing.

I'm mainly bemused by how it became a sexy holiday where adults want to play at being naughty nurses/teachers/etc. How did that happen?

Date: 2011-11-01 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I would swap Halloween which feels alien to me for something as cheery as jumping over bonfires any day. :D I actually have grown to love Guy Fawkes day here, it is just feels so rooted in history and darkly amusing.

Lol, I wouldn't mind the sexy parties neither - I guess this is a "natural" progression?

Date: 2011-11-01 04:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I loved Halloween when I was a kid. Now I love it because my kids love it. It's fun dressing up and going trick-or-treating. My kids went with friends (and parent supervisor) to familiar neighborhoods. My daughter returned with about 2 pounds of candy - most will be tossed otherwise I end up eating it.

Sadly, it is very commercial. Big business for the costume people as well as candy/decorations. I don't remember it being quite this big a deal when I was kid.

The really sad thing is the state of Halloween costumes for little girls. Believe me witches/zombies/etc. are far better than the suggestive costumes that are being peddled to girls. One "costume" that totally shocked me was "the little black dress". Now that is scary.

(edited to fix bad wording)
Edited Date: 2011-11-01 04:40 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-11-01 05:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think this is where the love for Halloween in the USA comes from - the childhood memories, which is perfectly understandable. Where I am from we used to have costume parties over the New Year time and I still miss them!

The state of the little girls' clothing in general is one of my favourite rants. :D But may be another time.

Date: 2011-11-01 05:02 pm (UTC)
shapinglight: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shapinglight
And the last thing, although may be this is the main thing, is that I do not like ANY of commercial holidays. I have a sneaky suspicion that they all are invented by "evil multinational corporations" that want to sell more of cheap sweets, cheap zombie masks and other stuff that we don't really need.

This, for sure. Valentine's Day is the one that makes me really grumpy.

Date: 2011-11-01 05:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Valentine's day is the WORST. I positively dislike it (where I am still "Ok, I don't understand, but my feelings aren't strong" with Halloween.

I have grown very fond of Guy Fawkes day somehow.

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From: [personal profile] shapinglight - Date: 2011-11-01 07:57 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2011-11-01 05:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Loving the card!

Halloween is totally american tbh. It's cute and all but it's something we mostly see in the tv shows imo I guess. They tried to put it in here but tbh it doesn't really work at all ^^. Probably because we have already Mardi-Gras/Carnaval when it comes to costumes.

Date: 2011-11-01 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I really prefer all those "local" holidays 9as opposed to commercial ones) . They are just so much fun. Mardi-Gras sounds GREAT.

We used to have costume parties during New Year celebrations, I love a good costume party.

Date: 2011-11-01 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love Halloween! It's my favorite holiday. The costumes are fun--there's a great line from Buffy, I think, pointing out that it's "come as you aren't" night. Yes, the "sexy ____" costume trend is tedious, but there are also fun other options. My friends and I have done themed costumes (all dressed like members of a band, etc) and other fun things, like the year everyone on staff had to dress like another staffer. A couple of my friends are amazing seamstresses and love the creativity they get to express with making new costumes, without having to worry that the hemline is perfect, as you would for everyday clothes.

As for the ghosts, zombies, etc: I was a witch every year as a kid. Every single year. There's something really powerful in taking things that scare you (vampires, zombies, the dark) and defiantly going out to have fun with it--and getting loads of candy as a reward! Halloween would be the one night I wasn't afraid to roam the streets in the dark--and, in fact, was encouraged to. It was pretty cool.

And that is why I love Halloween, by LNA, age *mumblemumble* :P

Date: 2011-11-01 05:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can see how Halloween can be a HUGE thing if this is something you are used to from the childhood, but I am just .. no, I am sorry! I love a good costume party but wondering dark cold streets to be honest does not appeal to me in a slightest. But I guess some of the Russian New Year celebrations, including tobogganing straight after the clock strike 12 might seem .. different. to someone else. Still, thinking again, toboganning is so >>> than wondering cold streets and knocking on strangers' doors.

Date: 2011-11-01 05:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's totally an American thing, and something that's really rooted in childhood. Getting dressed up, getting candy, spooky things...As an adult, most of the pleasure comes from being creative and getting to be silly.

I don't really think Americans have embraced the costume party as a whole, so this is our one outlet for that. I've never seen a non-Halloween costume/fancy dress party.

Date: 2011-11-01 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I kind of like the way Halloween sounds in the USA, but here it is not at all like that. If I had a chance to dress my daughter as Gwen from Merlin? may be thought more about it. But as a zombie? Definitely no.

I think the holiday just hasn't "grown into" the UK culture yet. Also we have Guy Fawkes night really really close to halloween.

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From: [identity profile] - Date: 2011-11-01 06:07 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2011-11-01 05:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love Halloween, but I'll take any excuse to dress in costume. Aside from that & Advent and various religious observances, I'm not interested in holidays, generally.

Date: 2011-11-01 06:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am not a very holiday-oriented person. :D I love my time with my family during Christmas/new year but spending any money of decorations seems to be pointless. I love all the Christmas-related food though.

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From: [identity profile] - Date: 2011-11-01 06:11 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2011-11-01 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The same is about me.

Date: 2011-11-01 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It is just not something I am used to, not at all.

Date: 2011-11-01 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Here in Middle Europe it's a time for family visits and bringing tea lights to the graveyards. Although Halloween slowly creeping in, most of us hates it only slightly less than Valentine Day. We file it all under "American shit", even if it's not originally American.

Date: 2011-11-01 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*shrug* It's an American thing. Having spent a couple of Halloweens in the UK, I can confirm that it is not the same over there as it is here. I'm not a huge fan myself (mostly because I hate dressing up in costume), but I can see why other people like it.

Idk. It's a cultural thing here. It's not kids knocking on doors and demanding candy. If people don't want trick-or-treaters, they generally just leave the porch light off. But people LIKE giving out candy. My grandma loves seeing kids in their costumes, but she lives in a gated community where they don't really get trick-or-treaters, so she goes over to my aunts house so she can see the kids in their costumes and hand out candy. It's a lot of fun, and since it's cultural, everyone knows what's up and what to expect, you know? In my experience, most parents either walk their kids to the door or follow them at a distance (waiting at the end of the drive way) so the kids feel a bit more independent. A lot of times, if a family lives in a bad neighborhood, they're drive somewhere else to trick-or-treat, so it really is generally pretty safe as long as the kids know basic safety rules like being careful when crossing streets and not going into a strangers home.

Over here, people get dressed up as all sorts of things. My cousin was the tin man from The Wizard of Oz this year. I was a cat. People dress up as all sorts of things. In fact the majority of things people dress up as are NOT scary. A lot of them are funny and based around contemporary pop culture like Snooki from Jersey Sore or Lady Gaga.

I'm sure that the reason Halloween is so popular now has a lot to do with candy companies pushing it on us, but meh. I don't care. It's still fun.

Date: 2011-11-03 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yep, I think it is an American thing, and may be this is the second main reason I personally feel lukewarm to it - it is just not something that feels natural here.. somehow. It is also so close to Guy Fawkes day (which feels really British).

Date: 2011-11-01 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I lived in Russia until I was 10 years old but as soon as I moved to US and found out about Halloween I becamse ecstatic about it! Who doesn't like free candy?

So yes, I went trick-or-treating until I was about 15 when I got too old for it. Then I worked at a Halloween store in Manhattan when I was 19 and that totally ruined the holiday for me. Seeing all those crazed girls choosing the most ridicilous sexy costume for 2 months in a row really put me off to the whole thing. This year was another year when I didn't do anything for Halloween and it felt fantastic. Not caring about commericial holidays is really liberating.

But there is one commercial holiday that I still adore - Thanksgiving! The chance to eat my mom's delicious turkey with sweet potatoes in a family setting and feel that "fall, harvest" atmosphere for the last time before winter completely takes over is something special for me.

Date: 2011-11-03 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think Halloween seems so be an American thing, judging fromt he comments. People who experienced Halloween in the USA seem to be "YAY!" and people who didn't seem to be less enthusiastic. I can feel an appeal of dressing up in fun costumes too, but this is not what happens here in the UK. I am sure if my daughter turns up dressed as up as something contemporary for one of the Halloween parties everyone will think it strange..

Date: 2011-11-01 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Halloween also came to Germany only some years ago.
When I was a kid we went out for treats on Saint Nicholas day. It was usually combined with saying a poem or singing a song. So it kind of irritates me that today's kids are going out for treats on Halloween as well now.

I don't like the commercial thing about holidays either. Forcing people to spend their money because someone says you have to because it's a holiday... there are other ways to make a holiday special.

Date: 2011-11-03 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, I think I feel a bit the same - the UK they have the Guy Fawkes bonfire day used to be much bigger here, but it is losing it appeal and instead of it the USA Halloween is coming in.

Date: 2011-11-01 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It IS strange ... about ten years ago no one over here in Germany had ever heard of Halloween. We do have All Hallow's Eve and ALl Hallows over here, but these are more in the sense of the original Celtic festival, where you stay at home, celebrate the last light before the winter and remember your loved dead ones. We are also celebrating St. Martin's Day around the 7th to 9th of November where little children walk around town singing with self-made lanterns and lampoons and go from house to house for 'Krippschen' which is a very old non-translatable word for singing and getting a sweet treat (in form of sweets and apples/oranges). But in the big cities now there are more and more Halloween parties with kids trick and treating (and older ppl not understanding what the heck is going on).
I really don't like Halloween in the US sense. It is too commercial and too ... well ... American. I rather prefer the original Samhain which is the beginning of the Celtic New Year.

Date: 2011-11-03 02:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think you said it in the nutshell - it seems that the local traditions are getting lost and the old traditions of Samhain are getting lost too, and all in favour of the USA Halloween.

Date: 2011-11-01 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
When I was younger, Halloween was all about the free candy. My friends and I used to go out in a big group (with one of our parents chaperoning) for trick or treating and then at the end of the night we'd go to someone's house and trade our candy. And then for the next however many weeks our lunch at school consisted of our Halloween candy!
Now as a uni student it's all about going to fun parties with cheap booze and possibility to win money or prizes or more alcohol for whatever costume you managed to come up with. It's also a good night to hook up :P And there's still candy! It's not really free but it's super cheap and in bulks everywhere!

Idk maybe it's a very American/Canadian thing but I love Halloween and all my friends do too. It's just a lot of fun for us esp. because as kids we got to dress up to get free candy and schools always had a lot of Halloween-themed activities planned (like the Halloween door contest where the best decorated door of said classroom got a pizza lunch!) and now it falls at the tail end of midterms week for us uni students so we get to dress up and go crazy after a stressful two weeks or so. Plus in my city we had a lot of fun Halloween themed stuff like the Zombie Walk and today there's this pumpkin thing in the park. It's honestly a really fun holiday for a lot us, imo :)

Date: 2011-11-03 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Take me right, it is not as if I hate it, it just feels alien for me (but I can see how it can be something rooted in traditions for the USA people).

For the UK, I feel this is something that still feels alien too. It shows the extent of the USA influence to the world, but I rather the individual countries stayed with their own traditions.

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From: [identity profile] - Date: 2011-11-03 03:52 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2011-11-01 09:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We don't do Halloween in Finland apart from adults having dress up parties (which can be fun and I fully intend to go to one my friends are throwing next week - a bit late, but whatever), but we do a similar thing on Easter, basically kids dressing up as witches (but innocent-looking ones, like this: and going door-to-door, saying this goodluck rhyme, that ends with "I give you this branch, give me payment" - the payment is usually candy, a little money, this sort of thing. And the branches of willow are cutely decorated. It's basically one of those folk traditions, originally designed to disspell or scare off bad spirits, and to give households good luck.

It's quite commercial at this point but still, a fun tradition that involves the kids not just dressing up but decorating the branches, too. It's all quite good fun, IMO.

Date: 2011-11-03 03:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
THAT EASTER IMAGE IS THE CUTEST THING EVER.I thought about it more, and I think all countries have some kind of "costume party" traditions, and personally I prefer that the individual countries stay with their own traditions.

Date: 2011-11-01 09:59 pm (UTC)
ext_9355: (tv : community. annie.)
From: [identity profile]
Sorry but I am about to skew the statistics :) I am MADLY in love with Halloween and I didn't grow up with it, so these aren't childhood memories of a sugar rush. My first Halloween was a teenage costume party in Geneva.

I think it's such a unique holiday with fascinating lore and fun traditions. Cheesy horror movies, candy corn, carved glowing pumpkins omg I can't get enough. In Switzerland/France, Halloween was mostly grown-up costume parties in the expat community but in the US, it is SPLENDIFEROUS for all ages and people here go all out.

And idk, I love holidays, including the more commercial ones. But then having grown up as an international kid, I have a patchwork cultural identity and not many holidays, except the purely religious, feel like someone else's party to me. At home, we do everything from the Jour de la Bastille to the Old Russian New Year - it's to whatever holidays any of us has an emotional tie and if we buy related food/decorations, it's all part of a good time. It's all my perspective, of course.

p.s. I haven't seen many kids without parents or in age-inappropriate costumes here; the zombies and ghouls are saved for the teenagers.
Edited Date: 2011-11-01 10:03 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-11-03 03:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, I think "the more holidays the merrier" too, I just think that the case of Halloween is a bit different. All countries have their own late-Autumn traditions rooted initially in Samhain. but what seems to happen 9at least here in the UK) is that the old traditions are becoming replaced with Halloween.

Date: 2011-11-01 10:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's an American import here too. It started in the late 90s and was entirely driven by supermarkets, shops and businesses trying to turn it into a new tradition, but after a few years where it seemed to be omnipresent in shops and a few kids would get disguises, it more or less died out. At least I think, because I noticed when supermarkets started getting Halloween decorations and themes, and after 5-6 years, it dwindled. It hasn't completely disappeared, but it didn't really take either.

It annoys me, because November 1st is a public holiday in France: we celebrate All Saints' Day (Toussaint) and the tradition is to bring flowers on the graves of family members and loved ones. It's a quiet tradition and seeing a commercial attempt at superimposing a foreign festivity on the eve of Toussaint out of sheer greed makes me angry. I'm glad that it seems to be failing here.

Date: 2011-11-03 03:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
** agrees wholeheartedly ** I had a bit of thinking done ( :D) after posting this, and I think you nailed the main problem I feel with the Halloween here - there is already a late-autumn holiday in place here (Guy Fawkes bonfire day) , and Halloween seems a foreign extra at it's best and a replacement at it's worst.

Date: 2011-11-01 10:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
In the US (or at least my part) a lot of schools and churches have "trunk or treat," where the parking lot is closed off and people from the community park their cars around the edge with the candy in the trunk and the kids do their trick or treating there instead of going house to house, specifically because of the safety issue. When I was a kid, my (pretty safe) community (in the country, basically a mile of 20~ houses on 2 acre lots in a circle) would have all the kids gather at one house and have a brief party, and then the teenagers and 1 parent from about 1/3-1/2 of the houses would all go around with the kids with a ride of some sort for the smaller ones and/or tired ones and go around the area together from one house to the next.

And yeah, you get "scary" costumes here, but there are more media and/or sterotypes/"character type" (alien rocker, cowboy, ballerina, fairy, magician, etc)/historical figure costumes than scary ones.

Date: 2011-11-03 03:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You see, I don't have any problem with the way the holiday is celebrated in the USA. There seems to be strong traditions and the holiday seem to have evolved from it's original "dark" meaning.

But in the UK this holiday seems like another USA import!

Date: 2011-11-01 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I live in a big city in the US and this was the first Halloween Baby Mousie was old enough to go trick-or-treating for and I finally got the fuss about it - she was excited about dressing up (as a cow. Most costumes I saw on kids were not horror stuff and when I didn't have a kid and Mr. Mousie and I went partying, people didn't wear scary costumes either, more like sexy or funny ones), she was excited about getting candy, she was excited about handing it out. It was a huge huge deal for her. And I like handing out candy too - we always get hordes. I think it's a sweet holiday that's actually pretty old in the US.

Re: Valentines' Day. I love it. It's always a good excuse to hire a babysitter and go out for a romantic dinner. It's also the anniversary of when Mr. Mousie and I got together so it's pretty special. It's commercial, sure, but in a capitalist society every holiday is. It doesn't detract from the nice meaning one can bring into it. Mother's Day was invented explicitly to sell more cards but I know my Mom still loves getting a card and present on that day.

Date: 2011-11-03 03:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
the USA Halloween seems like something that can potentially be fun, but I think in other countries it feels less .. natural. There was another holiday in place in this time of year in the UK, Guy Fawkes bonfire day. Halloween seems like an add-up or a replacement. It also feels so America, which might be great if you live in USA, but not as great if you don't, in this case it becomes just another reminder of the USA influence over the world.

I love the gifts on Valentine's day and Mother's day. LOVE THEM. But there is always a bit of a feeling of "I am selling up my principles for gifts" with both of these holidays for me, I don't feel "the spirit".
Edited Date: 2011-11-03 03:29 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-11-01 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
For me Halloween is just a fun day to get dressed up and get a bunch of candy. It's pretty harmless. It's not mandatory that you dress up and participate, but your daughter would probably enjoy it. What kid doesn't enjoy dressing up like Spiderman or a fairy (and we got quite a few fairies at our door last night) and getting lots of candy. It's fun.

In my neighborhood the parents walk around with their children in large groups and watch them as they go up to the doors to get candy. Of course the older kids get the late shift and cruise around on their own.

Their are people around here who think Halloween is evil or something, I don't know - *shrug* - and so their doorsteps are not lighted and welcoming and they close up their blinds and act like they are not home. Sounds like fear and superstition to me.

Halloween is completely optional. You don't have to dress up and if you do you can dress up however you would like. I used to dress up like a Hippy when I was a kid. One time, when I was a lot younger, I went to a party dressed as Madonna. People get really creative with their costumes. :)

My least favorite holiday is Christmas. Honestly, I could do without it. It comes to soon after my favorite holiday, which is Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving because you just cook a bunch of food and have family and friends over and hang out and talk and watch football and everyone falls asleep. It's great. :)

EDIT: After reading other comments and some of your responses it sounds like Halloween is very different over there than it is here. Sounds really bleak the way you describe it..."wandering cold dark streets". People here decorate their yards and keep their porch lights on and it's big groups of kids and families walking around or driving. Parents from low income neighborhoods bring their kids to the nicer neighborhoods to trick or treat. It sounds like they are trying to force an American holiday and cultural tradition on people that don't really understand it, all for profits sake. Like others have said most of the costumes people wear here are funny or sexy or pop culture. Like super heroes, fairies, bananas, hotdogs, pirates, cats, just silly stuff.
Edited Date: 2011-11-01 11:32 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-11-03 03:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lol, I just describe my street. there isn't many children living here, so no-one puts up any decorations. We get some groups of trick-or-treaters here. The first few years after me moving here I didn't know what to do, so I used to live the lights on as normal, which used to bring some groups of kids, usually 9-10-11-12 years old or teenagers (we don't have small kids here, so they have to come from somewhere) . I used to explain that I "don't do Halloween" to which I usually used to get some negative response (rarely - swearing words, but usually just something like "You are no fun"). The negative response didn't help my acceptance of the holiday. lol.

After 2-3 years I discovered that if I switch the lights off on the side of the house that looks towards the street I don't get as many calls, so this is what I usually do. I feel resentful, though, because: "Why do I have to switch the lights off and scramble in darkness? Is this not MY house?".

But overall, no, we don't get too many Halloween displays over here. And the costumes are ALL "evil", I have never seen any other costumes for sale.

Hopefully , in a fe years the tradition will change. The most Halloween fun I have seen is as usual had by students - they usually wonder the streets of Leeds in all sorts of funny costumes, having big Halloween parties.

Date: 2011-11-01 11:22 pm (UTC)
intermezzo: (? [EU])
From: [personal profile] intermezzo
When I was a kid, Halloween wasn't celebrated here. It started getting some attention in the 90s and it was mostly an occasion for adults to gather and have a party. As a rule of thumb, I don't have anything against it (except the trick-or-treat bit? I won't EVER get it. If I ever get kids, they'll only accept treats from neighbors they know and people I trust, meaning VERY few, and I will always be with them anyway so any treat will have to pass my inspection. Yes, I'm paranoid and I guess I'll become a bigger one as a parent. Heh).

That said, you know what I don't get? Why we have to import holidays that are essentially like other local holidays. For example, Carnevale. Sure, carnevale and Halloween have different origins, but still, the end result is the same for both: adults and kids alike, in costumes, partying, playing pranks, etc. The funny thing is? Halloween is almost more popular than Carnevale now.

I guess the more holidays the better? IDEK.

Date: 2011-11-03 03:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lol, I am the same (I mean about being paranoid). I am not really comfortable with my kid eating anything that haven't passed my inspection.

When is Carnevale celebrated? I have never heard of it, although it sound like a good fun. I know here Caribbean communities celebrate their Carnival, but it is usually is celebrated in the specific communities (the same with the Chinese new Year) . I don't have problems with any of the local communities holidays as these help them to maintain their cultural identity.

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] intermezzo - Date: 2011-11-03 09:39 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2011-11-02 01:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Halloween only became a kids thing in the 50s and 60s. Before that it was really an adult thing in the US and was especially popular among adults before the Great Depression. Costume parties were common, trick or treating was not because it wasn't seen as a kids holiday.

That changed after WWII and for, as you would suspect, very commercial reasons the emphasis changed to the whole notion of making it a kids thing and going out trick or treating --- thus needing to spend money on candy, costumes, etc. All those folks that are nostalgic about it grew up in the post-war period.

As to the point about sending kids out alone on Halloween to trick or treat. Well, they aren't alone. They are in groups. We used to travel in pretty large "packs" when we were preteens and that age still does it today and in fact -- while the propaganda would make this seem unsafe "nowadays" -- it is quite safe. Crime rates in the US peaked in the early 90s and are now back down close to what they were in the 1970s.

Date: 2011-11-03 03:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, thank you for the info!

I think it is as safe as you allow it to be - when kids (usually teens) are allowed to wonder far off, I see a problem.This doesn't really happen with the small kids, mostly with teenagers as they don't have supervising adults and some of the kids can be separated from the group.
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