To trick or treat, or not to trick or treat? It is a question that divides Australian communities each year.
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There are some people who will argue that it is an American tradition that indulges commercialism and encourages youngsters to eat too many sweets.
For the record, it is not a celebration that originated in America. According to many scholars, All Hallows' Eve is a Christianised feast initially influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain.
Other scholars maintain it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.
Regardless of its origins there is no doubt that in the 21st century Halloween is a commercialised event, largely popularised in Australia through American television shows.
Those shows tend to promote the fun had by all who dress up, decorate their home and head out door-knocking in the hope of gathering treats. It’s Not surprising that Aussie youngsters also want to take part in the fun.
Surely the concept of getting out and about for a little fresh, a walk around the neighbourhood and dress up and fun with family and friends is not a bad thing?
As one our staffers – a recent convert to Halloween – put it during our morning news conference, something that gets kids off their screens, using their imaginations to put together the scariest outfits possible and finding simple pleasure in behaving like children can’t be all bad.
However, in an effort to respect the rights and concerns of all perhaps there are a few simple guidelines to ensure those who want to celebrate can and those who don't will not be disturbed by trick or treaters.
Parental supervision for all those who head out on a Halloween trek is a great place to start.
That same supervision would be beneficial to ensure that youngsters do not eat all their sweets at once.
Meanwhile, those who welcome a trick or treat knock at the door could identify their Halloween hospitality with a balloon on the letterbox or a few spooky decorations.
And if you are welcoming spooky young guests to the door then it is best if you hand out fully wrapped treats.
This is a good idea for hygiene and safety purposes.
Here’s hoping for a safe and fun Halloween for all.
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