Friday, 2 November 2007

Halloween vs. Guy Fawkes

Halloween isn't very popular here. However, we were lucky enough to know some American expats who were throwing a Halloween party. We knew a couple back in California who was really into it, we looked foreword to going to their parties every year. So, all dressed up and ready to go to the party the other night, I'm sitting on the couch saying to Loren "It won't be the same. I doubt anyone will end up tied up to anything. And there won't be any live tarantulas."

Well, despite the lack of bondage, it was still a great party. The guy works for Weta Studios (the special effects studio that worked on Lord of the Rings) and he went all out with the decorations. Although, when you convert your entire apartment into a Haunted House complete with sound effects, "decorations" becomes an understatement. We met some new people, and had fun trying to identify the ones we knew what with the spooky lighting and some pretty imaginative costumes. And I got my palm read by a Gypsy.

It struck all us Americans as strange that Wellington isn't into Halloween. Step out onto Courtenay Place on a Friday night and you'll see why. People around here like to dress up. Whether going to a club or a birthday party, they seem to take anything as an excuse to get in costume. In fact, Wellington supports at least four costume rental shops year round. I've gathered a few theories on why Kiwis don't get into Halloween around here, though I don't know how much weight to give any of them:

1) Halloween is seen as a uniquely American holiday, therefore Kiwis don't want anything to do with it.

2) Halloween is NOT Christian, therefore Christian Kiwis don't celebrate it.

3) Trick-or-treating teaches children poor morals (that you can get something for nothing) and that's counter to the Kiwi spirit.

4) It's only five days before Guy Fawkes day, and therefore gets overshadowed by this very British holiday. (this is my theory)

What's that? You've never heard of Guy Fawkes day? Well, basically, there were these guys that plotted to blow up Parliament with large amounts of gun powder. The plot was discovered, and various gruesome things were done to the treasonous perpetrators. This Guy Fawkes character was among them, and so people started making a straw Guy and burning him in effigy. The thing caught on, and is now more likely to be celebrated with fire works. So basically, it's a holiday celebrating the capture and execution of terrorists. Hmmm, why hasn't this one caught on in America? Kiwi expats must be scratching their heads over that one.

And lest you forget:

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

And now, our brilliant low-budget Halloween costumes:

Punks for a day

For more, check our Flickr page:

1 comment:

d said...

We don't have a holiday like that because the US hasn't caught any terrorists *yet*!

Glad you guys had fun despite the lack of bondage... ;)