Is Halloween Un-Australian?

By Emma Thomas

No matter where you are you will have noticed that Halloween is being celebrated more each year. Often considered an American holiday there are some who think it’s un-Australian and encourages negative behaviour among children. So what do you think? Should we celebrate Halloween in Australia? 

Should we celebrate?

I’m all for anything that brings families and communities together in shared celebrations. Add in some dressing up, fun for children and adults and creativity with costumes and decorations and you’ve got a great time. You can tailor the celebration to your family (skip the scary stuff) or even throw an Aussie themed party!

Halloween Promotes Community 

Halloween can be a great time to celebrate together and build community! Spending time with friends and family promotes our children’s wellbeing and development. And Halloween can be a great time to get out into your community and get to know your neighbours. In our busy society many families find themselves disconnected from their neighbourhood and those around them. Taking time for a shared celebration has many benefits. 

Dressing Up is Fun

Most children and adults love dressing up – let your children lead the way with costumes and you might be surprised with what they come up with. It doesn’t have to be complicated or cost a lot of money – sometimes the simplest costumes are the best. Children might be inspired by their favourite book or TV show and this can be a great way to introduce new stories. 

What about stranger danger?

Halloween is actually a great time to teach safety to your children. You can review the rules for safety that you’ve agreed on in your family. It is important for children to understand the difference of doing something with a trusted adult (eg. talking to a stranger at Halloween with their parents) and doing something when they are on their own. Going door to door can be a great way for children to practise greeting and interacting with new people. If you are concerned about the culture in your suburb you could attend a Halloween event or throw a Halloween Party instead. 

It’s up to you

In the end it’s up to you – you need to do what suits your family and what your children will enjoy. If the sugar, the dressing up and the interactions with strangers doesn’t suit your family – try something different! You are the one who knows your children the best.