How To Make Halloween More Australian

So many people in Australia struggle to embrace Halloween because they say it’s “too American.” Possibly these people are doing it on their American designed computers or smart-phones, using the American designed Internet or American based social media site whilst drinking their American Coca-Cola.

I already covered in my post 5 Arguments For and Against Halloween in Australia no one seems to care about the Americanised Santa Claus taking over Saint Nicholas or Kris Kringle at Christmas time. And as countless lovers of Halloween have argued many times, including me, the tradition is from Celtic origin and we’re happy to embrace Saint Patrick’s Day which isn’t ours, because… beer.

Beer is seen as very much an Australian thing. The Germans and Austrians argue it’s more theirs, and the Czechs claim they invented it and according a Czech legend, their god of hospitality, Radegast invented beer. But I digress.

Now if you are holding out in joining in the fun that is Halloween – the dressing up, the decorating, and the community spirit that is found within the tradition of giving our treats to children that knock on your door during ‘trick or treat’ – I have thought of a way to make this celebration more Australian Aussie.

My first ever pumpkin carving. My wife scooped it out and I did the carving. #teamwork

My first ever pumpkin carving. My wife scooped it out and I did the carving. #teamwork

In the American tradition, those who participate in the celebration take a pumpkin and carve it into a jack-o’-lantern and place it on their front porch to “welcome” the trick or treaters. The pumpkins used in this carving is in season now in the US and because of its abundance they use the flesh in pumpkin pies which are traditionally served in November for Thanksgiving. Oh, and the reason I mentioned that last part is because I seriously hear someone say;

“If we start celebrating Halloween, what next? Should we be celebrating Thanksgiving in Australia?”

Um, no. They don’t celebrate Australia Day, our various state based Labour Days, Anzac Day or the Queen’s Birthday long weekend and we won’t end up celebrating Independence Day, President’s Day (aka Washington’s Birthday), Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, their Labor Day, Columbus Day or Veteran Day.

But Halloween does NOT celebrate America. It celebrates, well, dressing up and giving out treats. Forget what people say; there’s no religious affiliation, no patriotic affiliation, and no one trying to brainwash children other than to be part of the world of consumerism that we’re all caught up in anyway. It’s good for the economy, that’s all. (Yes, retailers and dentists need these income revenue streams).

Whilst Coles, Woolworths and many local green grocers have been stacking the giant uncut pumpkins up high for the purpose of selling to us suckers participants in the tradition, the hotter months aren’t traditionally a time when pumpkins sell as often as in winter when many of us are making our own pumpkin soups or making a nice roasty-toasty Sunday roast to warm the soul. What we normally see in abundance in those same places the pumpkins are being stack are watermelons. And you know how much we love our watermelons in this country.

We are heading towards our summer of cricket and as a result there will be many people turning to Google to find out “how to make a watermelon hat” or “how to make a watermelon helmet.” It’s the favourite accessory for many a one-day cricket fan.

Some might end up watching this video that the former international Australian cricketer Doug Bollinger made a few years back for the Herald Sun online newspaper. Click on the photo to watch the video.

And some might even remember back in the 2006-2007 season of cricket when the fun police at Brisbane’s Gabba Oval decided that watermelon helmets were banned. Boo.

So in this country we are already used to carving watermelons so why not make them our unique way to celebrate an Australian Halloween? Check out these designs…

This Halloween inspired skull…

watermelon skull

Photo credit http://fnrad.com/art-2/radn-up-your-summer-bbqs-with-watermelon-carvings/ Click on the link to see more cool designs.

These Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…

This scary face…

This Shrek…

And these brains, because, you know, you might have some zombies knocking on your door…

And if they aren’t Aussie enough for you, how about this scary looking shark…

And if you like the idea of using the watermelon to make it more Australian for you but you want to keep part of the “traditional” Halloween tradition, why not stick with the jack-o’-lantern? You can follow this step by step guide that Woolworths produced to show you how to do it.

Now the benefits of carving a watermelon this time of year in Australia are many, but one is that you can scoop out the flesh of the watermelon straight into your blender and make watermelon juice, or have it as the base for a tropical drink adding other summer fruits. Anyway, enjoy the celebration. Stop caring where these traditions are from, and Happy Halloween to you all…

So are you celebrating Halloween this year? Have you carved your own pumpkin? Would you prefer to carve a watermelon?

Please note that this is NOT a sponsored post by Woolworths and I suggest you get your watermelons from your local green grocer to support locally grown produce.



Categories: Celebrations and Festivals

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6 replies

  1. This is a fantastic post. Didn’t realize Halloween was so debate worthy aside from Christians heaping hellfire on it.

  2. Love it! I used to be a naysayer but I freakin’ LOVE halloween. It’s not just an American or Canadian thang. My husband used to celebrate Guy Falkes day in the UK (same, same) and as you said the Celts have been having boo much fun celebrating it for centuries. It’s fun, it’s creative, it’s dramatic and most of all it’s about getting people together and the kindness of neighbours. And with Aussie spirit, we carved a watermelon this year (mostly because it was cheaper) 🙂

  3. That’s an interesting idea, which i recon would catch on pretty quickly, if it got spread around. Because as Australians, i recon we like to do our own thing. On the side of tradition, one of my mates always would have a go at me, if i mentioned the idea of having a Halloween party, due to his strong Chrisitan beliefs. Being a Christian myself, i feel there’s no real problems there. Like you said, it’s a celtic holiday and it’s not like we’re worshiping the underworld of the devil by dressing up like them, but then again i’m a pretty chilled out Christian when it comes to my beliefs as appose to others, like my friend who have much strong opinions on the matter.

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