Halloweeeeen Apples!


That’s what we, in our childhood, called out as we rang neighbours’ doorbells, dressed in inexpensive home-made costumes. Today it’s “Trick or Treat” and often some pretty sophisticated costumes that Mom bought! Treats most desired by the little goblins are mini chocolate bars and candies – no more candy apples or homemade goodies after some bad tricks with hidden razors. Lots of carved and candlelit jack o’ lantern pumpkins line every doorway, then lie smashed on roads the next morning after the older goblins have made their rounds.

This type of Hallowe’en is predominantly a North American phenomenon, though originating in the British Isles. Immigrant parents reluctantly allowed their children to go join in this strange new form of “begging”.

Increasingly commercialized, Hallowe’en now ranks third in consumer spending in Canada, behind Christmas and the back-to-school season. And this is ironic…according to the Telegraph:

“thanks in part to a vigorous drive by supermarkets to import America’s Hallowe’en traditions and rituals to Britain, it has become the second biggest seasonal event after Christmas.”

I guess I’d qualify as a Scrooge for only buying two pumpkins and about $25 worth of the mini chocolate bars for the neighbourhood kids (and the at-home “kids”).

So, if you are out trick-or-treating tonight with your young ones or attending various fireworks (apparently a Canadian tradition!) or parties, have yourself a fun and very SAFE Halloween!

Links: some history of Halloween
Stanley Park’s Hallowe’en Ghost Train, a popular Vancouver family event.

Thanks to Erika for the skeleton drawing!

Update Nov.1.04 (All Saints’ Day): Thanks to Mark at Wood s Lot for finding this fascinating site about Halloween, Samhain, Day of the Dead, All Souls, All Saints at Mythology’s Myth*inglinks

October 31, 2004 in Canada and BC, Culture by Marja-Leena