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All Hallows Eve

2 November, 2006

Did you know that Halloween originated in Ireland and Scotland? And that you can carve turnips instead of pumpkins?

When I received an invitation from a British exchange student to attend a Halloween party in Coogee, I was rather dubious. Halloween has never really featured in my diary. Nor has it featured in my list of things to do before I die. Plus I have absolutely no desire to pretend to be American. But considering there was a lack of alternatives for a Tuesday night, I decided to give it a try.

Miss ST and I arrived at the party feeling rather……. out of it. Firstly, out of the 25 people who were already there, we knew a sum total of one person. Secondly, my pathetic attempt at dressing up (ie a big green Heineken hat) made me resemble a garden gnome. Thirdly, we were the only ones with an Australian accent.

We had just walked into an international student’s Halloween party, and boy do they know how to celebrate Halloween. Lets start with the costumes. From my worldly knowledge of Halloween via the Simpsons, I thought one dressed up as a ghost, devil, vampire or Dracula. Apparently not. There was naughty nurse, pajama boy, the unoriginal fairy, cowboy, Alice in Wonderland and super man. Sorry, but Alice in wonderland does not scare me! Neither does pajama boy for that matter. Nonetheless, everyone got into the spirit and donned on an outfit of some sort.

The house was meticulously decorated. Spiders entangled in spider webs, ghosts hanging over the banister, but best of all were the pumpkins. I didn’t even know we sold those big bright orange pumpkins. (Turns out we do, but at a ridiculous price!)
Halloween pumpkin.jpg
I have never tried to carve pumpkins before but I can only assume it is rather difficult. 10/10 for effort and effectiveness.

As Miss ST and I made our way through the crowd, we decided to be brave and meet new people. Actually, it was easier than imagined because we were a novelty for the simple reason being we were Australian. An American commented to me: “Wow, I can’t tell you how few Australians I have met whilst I have been in Sydney for the past 5 months.” Fancy that. Going to uni with an abundance of Aussies and making best friends with a Scot, Brit, Canadian, and a fellow American.

The night progressed, as nights tend to do and after a couple of drinks, a few lively chats and a boogie to Monster Mash, it was time to retreat back home.

The party was certainly a weird and enlightening cultural experience but I don’t think I’m in any hurry to go trick or treating next year!

Comments

It's definately a shame that we don't celebrate Halloween as much here in Australia. Same goes with Christmas, I'm originally from the UK & the festive season just isn't the same here.

Stuart

there are christmas decorations up in SEPTEMBER .. how much more celebration is undertaken in the UK??

I have been amazed by the preparation of Halloween over here! In both Ireland and Scotland, every single shop was decked out with decorations for months! My particular favourite, if a little disturbing, was a display with a devil mask over a Winnie and Poo toy in a Baby shop window! Dublin was buzzing with Halloween parties and last Tuesday's fanfare back at uni in Scotland was one of the biggest events of the year!

Hi, do you know where in sydney I can get the big orange pumpkins to carve?

I am desperately searching for some for this years halloween.

Thanks
Susan

There are a few at Thomas Dux grocery in
Five Ways for $25. The produce manager said you can get them wholesale at the Saturday market in Flemington off Paramatta road.

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