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Debating Halloween In Australia

The BuzzFeed Oz team weighs in.

Posted on

Jenna Guillaume: So what do you think of Halloween in general?

Stephanie Anderson: Love it, think it's great tbh.

Nick Wray: I like it. It's just a fun day to get drunk and dress up.

Brad Esposito: Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.

Mark Di Stefano: I think it's a bit overdone and people need to chill the freak out.

Jenna: I love the idea of it. Dressing up in awesome costumes and eating candy are two of my favourite things.

Stephanie: It's like NYE but there's less psychotic pressure to have the BEST. NIGHT. EVERRRR. And you get to dress up. It's glam.

Nick: And it's my birthday too! So another good reason to make horrible life choices.

Mark: You can dress up and get drunk: Christmas, birthday, all other days of the year...

Nick: NO! I can wear a dress on Halloween and no one blinks an eye.

Mark: I don't support Halloween because it is Nick's birthday.

Brad: Halloween is a little sad.

Nick: How Brad?

Brad: Idk, dressing up is okay. It just feels very fake in Oz.

Mark: Celebrating Halloween in Australia is just way too hit and miss.

Stephanie: Have you ever held a dress up party though? Like honestly.

No one dresses up, and if you ENFORCE the dressing up you're the asshole who is making everyone dress up.

Jenna: I feel like that's an Australian thing. Like Australians aren't into dressing up so much?

Mark: But I don't think that's a problem. Like we have taken so much from American culture - maybe all of American culture - not having the culture of dressing up, for me, take it or leave it.

Stephanie: For Halloween, the idea of dressing up is so entwined with the holiday that the pressure comes from the holiday rather than the party thrower. Ergo less pressure.

Jenna: Ah yes. So Halloween MAKES people dress up.

Nick: It's the easiest themed party to have/go to though. You can legit go as anything.

Jenna: Why do you think Australians don't really do the dressing up thing?

Stephanie: Because our culture prides itself on being so ~laid back~ that if you get excited and get involved, you're considered lame. I think that's a shame.

Jenna: That's true.

Mark: I think with so many Australian things, we take the UK convention or the US convention - in this case we took the UK one.

Jenna: So is Halloween a thing in the UK?

Mark: No Halloween is like the same as here. There'd be some committed people but on the whole it's ignored.

Stephanie: Aussies defs aren't as keen on getting involved or too excited about anything that's not sport related

Jenna: Yeah it's considered so uncool to get excited about anything if it's not related to sports.

Stephanie: Pretty much. Cutting other people down for having fun is defs a part of our culture.

Mark: Really? Like you can be excited for Australia Day.

Jenna: Growing up I never knew anyone actually get excited for Australia Day, other then getting the day off work.


Nick: Fuck you brad, it's awesome.

Jenna: Brad why do you think Halloween is DUMDUM.

Nick: Because he hates everything normal people like.

Jenna: But I think a lot of Australians feel that way though about Halloween.

Brad: I like candy. I like dressing up. But I also like going home and not having children that I don't know knock on my fucking door. Like, "hey you're obliged motherfucker!"

Mark: I really don't think we need to celebrate Halloween in Australia - what are we actually celebrating?

Nick: Halloween being on my birthday means I get attention. Last year I hooked up with Poison Ivy.

Brad: Nick bringing his dating life into everything on his constant quest for self-worth.

Stephanie: We're not celebrating anything, it's just fun. Is that so bad? It's an excuse to have fun.

Jenna: Halloween is celebrating the fact that it's OK for grown arse adults (and, well, children) to dress in ridiculous costumes and eat junk food. At least one day a year.

Stephanie: Yep.

Brad: OK, yeah. I'm fine with that. But the whole marketing behind it is kinda gross. I put Halloween in the same basket as Easter. LOL good one me.

Nick: I like Easter.

Brad: Also Valentine's Day. I think that yeah, they have some historic background, but on the whole it's used to make money.

Nick: Urgh Brad.

Stephanie: Is it really marketed like that here though?

Brad: No! And that's why it's bad, it is marketed! Like, they try... but like, 60%. A pumpkin here, a fake bat there…

Stephanie: Like I haven't seen any Halloween shit being pushed, I've seen way more Christmas displays so far.

Nick: Yeah Halloween is pushed in the shops now, like you see Woolworths selling Halloween merch.

Jenna: I feel like the marketing has been stepped up due to demand from the public. There was a crap Halloween display at the Woolies near my mum's house.

Stephanie: Actually when we went to get coffee the bus that drove past us had an ad for costumes, now that I think about it.

Mark: I think - let's be real - Australians don't do it. And the reasons they don't are historic and cultural and that's not going to change anytime soon... I think not having Halloween is not a big loss.


Nick: What are your views on trick or treat though? I feel our only view on Halloween is the adult dress up parties. Like as a kid I celebrated Halloween once and went from door to door and all I got was weird looks.

Stephanie: I think it can be fun if a suburb decides it wants to get involved and set up a trick or treat thing for the kids.

Jenna: Yeah that's the thing. Sometimes kids come around and you have nothing for them. And other times you get candy and no kids come.

Nick: I was given Jatz one year.

Mark: What about all the kids getting kidnapped and eating metal things and dying?

Jenna: Gosh Mark that's an urban legend.

Mark: I'm just saying. Look at the Halloween movies. Halloween = people die.

Jenna: I freaking love the Halloween movies.

Stephanie: The original Halloween is a classic. Also one of the best scores in history tbh.

Mark: I think this is part of Brad's argument that Halloween is just done to sell shit - like movies.

Jenna: Here's the thing. We do Halloween half-arsed in Australia. We need to go in whole arse.

Nick: I'm down for that.

Mark: I'd rather Australians go in full-arsed on a different holiday

Jenna: Like what?

Mark: Australia Day - moved to a different date.

Nick: Yeah I'm all for moving Australia Day.

Jenna: Australia Day needs to move to a different date but that is a whole other discussion.

Mark: I think a lot of other cultures have their day of the dead festival - Halloween is America's - leave it to them.

Jenna: But we don't have a day of the dead right?

Mark: No we don't.

Jenna: We obvs need one.

Mark: We have the Queen's Birthday which is pretty much the same amirite.

Nick: Halloween > the Queen's birthday.

Stephanie: Don't go in on the Queen she seems lovely.

Nick: The Queen is boring.


Nick: I don't think she is.

Stephanie: Fuck you she's a goddamn QUEEN.

Jenna: We should celebrate the Queen's Birthday by dressing up in British costumes and drinking tea and eating Jaffa cakes. But I think we should also celebrate Halloween. I think in Australia, and for me personally, growing up you watch movies like Hocus Pocus and random Halloween episodes of Buffy and That '70s Show or whatever, it just seems like such a FUN holiday. WE ALL NEED MORE FUN IN OUR LIVES.

Nick: I'm with Jenna.

Brad: Yes but all those things could exist anyway?

Nick: Halloween or GTFO.

Jenna: I just love that it's a holiday where everyone collectively agrees to be really silly.

Mark: I think we are losing sight of why we want Halloween - we want it because of American movies and TV shows.

Jenna: Because it seems fun.

Stephanie: But we don't, because Australia doesn't want to be seen as going all in on something that isn't sports related. Hipster culture tbh.

Jenna: If you made Halloween about dressing up as your fave sporting hero all the time Australia would be BEHIND it already - whole-arsed.

Mark: We have plenty of fun that isn't sports related.

Stephanie: O rly?

Mark: The NYE fireworks.

Stephanie: So we have NYE in Sydney. Great. Where's the rest of our fun holidays, exactly?

Jenna: We don't have anything as fun as Halloween. And I think Australia needs it. We need to go in whole-arsed because then everyone gets to dress up and be silly. It's not only accepted but encouraged. It would be SUPER FUN for kids. It would be SUPER FUN for adults. It would be SUPER FUN for everyone. The movies, the parties, the trick or treating...

Nick: OK so if we had Halloween for real, would we dress up as things that are actually scary? Because when I do it, it's just dressing up in general.

Stephanie:Nah, just whatever.

Jenna: I like creative or clever costumes. I am always impressed when people go all out. Mainly because I would never be bothered.

Mark: Scary costumes or GTFO. We are getting to the point where Halloween is now "Dress Up Day".

Brad: Yes.


Nick: I'm down for that.

Seriously how does anything beat that?

Mark: OK what if in Australia we have Dress Up Day.

Stephanie: No one would do it. Because 'Straya.

Nick: Like Book Week?

Jenna: YES. Let's make Book Week a holiday!

Mark: Yeah and we can have a parade through Martin Place and award medals.

Jenna: For adults! That actually sounds the greatest.

Mark: Australia's Dress Up Day.

Nick: #BookWeek2k14!

Mark: October 31 every year.

Jenna: I feel like Book Week and Dress Up Day could be separate occasions. October 31, not Halloween, DRESS UP DAY. But also can it please have the candy and the awesome movies

Mark: Nah they are America's. We make our own.

Jenna: So would Dress Up Day be about scary stuff?

Brad: Dress Up Day wouldn't do well, because DUD.

Jenna: lol I actually think that's perfect. So Australian. It's DUD!

Mark: I can get around DUD. I'm down for DUD.

Stephanie: Get some new duds for DUD.

Jenna: We could get excited by something called DUD. Because it's like undercutting the excitement with the name, so it's still cool.

Nick: Make it happen!

Brad: "Be a bud, celebrate DUD."

Jenna: Let's make DUD happen. But would you just dress up? There needs to be more to it. Like candy and drinking and cool movies.

Stephanie: You guys, I feel like if it's October 31 it's literally going to be the same as how Boxing Day is Proclamation Day in SA, aka, irrelevant and everyone just calls it Boxing Day.

Jenna: I didn't even know that was a thing.

Stephanie: Exactly.

Jenna: So like for Dress Up Day kids could go from house to house and be like "gift or gab". Like people have to give you something or tell you something.

Stephanie: What's "gab"? Like they just talk at you until you tell em to fuck off?

Jenna: Exactly.

Brad: Gab sounds sexual. Is that just me?

Stephanie: Not just you tbh.

Jenna: YOU GUYS.

Stephanie: Present or piss off.

Jenna: Food or fuck off.

Brad: Treats or Tales. And they have to tell u a poem or some shit lol.

Nick: I think this will be bigger than potato week.

Jenna: So I feel like in America Halloween is very tied to "fall". And October 31 is right in the middle of beautiful spring in Australia. Should we celebrate Halloween, but in our autumn?

Stephanie: Sure why not.

Nick: I'm all for celebrating at the same time as America. It makes it more exciting. Like all over social networking you see Americans getting ready for it and you want to be involved.

Jenna: So part of wanting to celebrate Halloween is FOMO.

Nick: Well kinda. I just don't think it has anything to do with the season Halloween is in. I see no reason why if we're going to celebrate it we should have it on a different day.

Jenna: I think a lot of opposition to Halloween in Australia is because it is such an American holiday, and we resist the Americanisation of our culture. What do you think of that?

Nick: I hate this argument. People who use it watch all American TV, they use Apple products and eat at McDonald's.


Stephanie: Wut.

Jenna: No I see where Nick is coming from.


Jenna: We value American pop culture.


Nick: You're just like this coz your mum is American Brad.


Stephanie: Wait what are we even talking about right now.

Jenna: OK but we do watch TV shows and movies from America, that are uniquely American - yet they're a big part of Australian life. My argument is that if we accept and go ALL IN for American TV, movies, and food - why not Halloween?

Stephanie: I am Team America. Team Halloween.

Nick: Team America!

Jenna: What about TEAM AUSTRALIA though.

Nick: Team Australia is boring. We're black and white TV. America is high def.

Jenna: That's a bit harsh. Personally I think you can value some American things without becoming "too American". We also have our own colourful culture.

Nick: I just mean with fun stuff. Like TV and shit.

Stephanie: I'm Team Australians Who Dig America.

Jenna: Yes. I feel like we take the best parts of American and British culture. I like that.

Stephanie: Samesies.

Nick: I agree.

Jenna: And Halloween seems to be one of the best parts. Let's go in WHOLE-ARSED.

Stephanie: Whole-Twerkin'-Arsed. Anaconda-Arsed.


Nick: If we're taking all the fun stuff from America, then where the fuck is our Taco Bell?!!

Stephanie: The bottom of the fuckin' barrel is where.

Jenna: OK so final say on Halloween in Australia - yay or nay?

Nick: YAY.

Stephanie: Hard YAY. Pro-Halloween.

Jenna: I am YAY.

Mark: YAY! You've swayed me.

Brad: Meh. It's dumb but if people want to do it… I just don't think the EXPECTATION to participate should ever exist (like it does in America).

Jenna: Right. You do you. So you basically think it should stay as is. Half-arsed.

Nick: People just want an excuse to get drunk, dress up and party. And if we piss off Brad in the process it's win-win. HALLOWEEN FUCKING RULES!

Stephanie: Let people do them. If they don't wanna join in it's their loss IMO but they probs won't feel like they're missing out so it's whatevs.

Jenna: And how about DUD?

Mark: I am on Team Halloween/DUD.

Jenna: Let's celebrate Halloween on October 31 and DUD on November 1. Make a long weekend out of it.

Brad: If we can get the Government behind that.

Jenna: Let's ask Tony.