Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Halloween again

Today is Halloween, a day I no longer have any interest in. I’m not sure when or why it faded away for me, but it could be that it happened because Halloween just isn’t a big deal in New Zealand. I've been sceptical that this will ever change.

Today, the Stuff news site published a story, ”Trick or treat! It's Halloween, but what does that even mean in New Zealand?”, which pretty much sums up what I’ve been saying for years. When I read it, though, I didn’t share the optimistic view that Halloween is just still in the early stages of adoption by New Zealanders—this, is, I didn't until this evening.

This evening, Stuff published “Thousands of trick-or-treaters descend on one Auckland street for Halloween celebrations” about 4,000 people turning up on one street in Auckland’s North Shore for a celebration one local resident said was “getting bigger and bigger and bigger”. Maybe there’s something to the optimism after all?

I don’t know that anything can rekindle an affection for Halloween in me. Among other things, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become extremely self-conscious about dressing up in any sort of costume—it’s not fun for me, but a source of anxiety that I can do without. But if more people start adopting it, could that change? I have absolutely no idea.

I do know that the reason I stopped buying candy for trick or treaters was that there were seldom any that stopped at our house, regardless of where we lived. I didn’t buy any this year, either, and it turned out that from around 5 to 7:30 there were folks in costume going door-to-door. The only response they got at my house was a telling off from Leo. I have no idea how many people we’re talking about—maybe a dozen or two? The blinds were closed so I couldn't see them.

What’s different this year, I think, is that the part of the development I live in is now fully occupied, and there are a lot of families with kids. It’s unlikely that the number of kids will go down anytime soon, so I’ll probably buy candy for next year. But, just in case, I’ll do what I used to to until a few years ago and buy what I like in case I get left with a lot. I do try to be sensible.

The drawing accompanying this post is one I made when I was in my late teens or early 20s, though I don’t really have any idea when I did it. I also don’t know why I drew it, but it was probably a doodle that started with the jack-o-lantern and grew from there (because that’s the sort of path my doodling usually took. I have very little physical art that I’ve done, apart from photos; I didn’t bring my oil paintings with me, and I never drew all that much. I only have this one because I brought an ancient sketch pad I've had since my very early teens back from the USA at some point or other. All of which makes this particular crude doodle a rare thing. It’s also the only treat I have to hand out this year.

So… Happy Halloween, I guess.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

It's going to be about 41F/5C at 7 pm Oct 31 in ALB. Cold, but dry. We're very close to my daughter's former elementary school and on a main drag, so we'll probably get 100 kids. Maybe fewer, because I have to go pick up the takeout at 6 pm.