"trick or treaters" at the door last night. I did not really think we would. There are just two very young children living next door. In the "court" opposite us the children come from Asian backgrounds. It is not in their culture to "celebrate" Halloween. In the surrounding streets the children, most of whom I know quite well, are simply not interested even though one or two would perhaps be permitted to go out under parental supervision.
I do not know what happened in the rest of the city but I suspect there was not a lot of Halloween activity - despite the best efforts of the big supermarket chains. They were trying to sell Halloween pumpkins yesterday - for a very low price. I doubt they had much success. It is just not a "Downunder" thing - or not where I live. We are heading into summer, not winter. Those sort of Halloween celebration are also seen as "American" - like Thanksgiving or 4th of July celebrations.
The Whirlwind, who whirled in to stir the Christmas cake mixture on Sunday, is puzzled by the whole concept. "But what is it for?" she wanted to know. I helped her look up some information but she still went away saying that the idea was "silly". Going "trick or treating", she told me, is one of the activities on her list of "never want to do", along with things like patting a snake or riding pillion on a motor bike. I have to agree - although I have ridden pillion on a motor bike. (Never again.)
I suppose the big supermarket chains will persist with Halloween. They will say "people want it" and encourage people to believe that they do indeed want it.
Next Saturday however there will be the annual "Christmas Pageant". Oh yes, it comes early - always the first weekend in November. Thousands of children (and adult-children) will line up along the city streets to watch the floats, the bands, the clowns and other performers wind their way through the city to "The Magic Cave" where "Father Christmas" will reside until he sets out with his reindeer. I have only ever seen the parade once. I am never likely to see it again. (I will be working this Saturday.) The Whirlwind has been. My nephews have been. Most of the children of my acquaintance have been. It is intended to be a happy, positive occasion. There is nothing dark or "spooky" about it.
"That," the Whirlwind informed me, "Is what it ought to be like."
I have to agree.