Halloween isn't widely celebrated in New Zealand. It's more of an American thing, but I have noticed that now it is slowly starting to catch on over here. The local Plaza now stock Halloween costumes, and not just for children, as I have seen in previous years, adult costumes are now on sale. Anything from the classic sexy French maid and sexy nurse, witches, wizards and Disney Princesses and other characters to the very confusing sexy chef. Sexy chef? On closer inspection of the packaging, the costume came with the 'traditional' white tall hat that chefs wear and a short, pinafore type dress that only vaguely resembled a chef's white jacket, the only feature being the two rows of small black buttons that would identify it as such. It was up to the person wearing the sexy chef costume if they wanted to wear anything underneath the short dress. Also, I think we all know that Nigella Lawson is the original sexy chef. (If you have not had the pleasure of looking at her and beholding her beauty, I urge you to do so. She is a little minx.)
I have also noticed, at the local supermarket and also the smaller department store that has a 'packaged foods aisle' that both of those places now have an American/Canadian foods section. Curiosity got the better of me recently, so I had a closer look at some of the North American foods that were stocked. I have so many questions, America and Canada. So many questions.
At the daycare, for Halloween, the children can dress up, and we bust out the novelty decorations and the fancy lights and the smoke machine, and we have a Halloween disco and play games that young children can easily follow. Halloween is also the only day that children are allowed sweets and lollies to eat, so that is always exciting for them. I don't know if the parents appreciate it though seeing as we send the kids home jacked up on sugary sweets, cakes, and biscuits.
For people who don't like Halloween, the local Baptist Church have their annual light party. If you're wearing a Halloween costume or anything scary, you're not allowed in as the party is designed for the younger demographic. It's really just another excuse for kids to eat more sugar before going home to bed, although I imagine in a lot of households that doesn't happen. The last few years I've been to the light party as I have been babysitting young children (they belong to a family friend) while the parents have been off at some lame excuse of a Halloween work function.
When I was at Primary school (elementary for our American friends) and the light party was first created, it was free entry for everyone. But now, in the last two years that I have attended with the children I babysit, it is a gold coin 'donation'. Unless you're a Church family. If you're a Church family you get in free; it's only us heathens who have to pay at the door. They have competitions and spot prizes for the children, where of course everyone is a winner, and everyone gets a prize in the competitions. (I could write a whole rant on why this system is flawed and in the end no one wins)
Halloween work functions are slightly more commonplace now than what they used to be. I don't understand the whole dress up in costume thing and wear a full face of paint. Our Halloween is in spring, heading into summer, it's too hot to do the whole Halloween shebang, unless of course, you enjoy looking like a hot Halloween mess.
Halloween is now growing from a niche market to a more popular 'holiday' and I think New Zealand should just stick to what they're good at; binge drinking. We do after all have a holiday for that. National Crate Day which is held on the first Saturday of each summer, which for us is December. A day dedicated to sitting around and drinking beer and having a BBQ. You can't get much more kiwi than that.