It would be hard to beat this creative celebration of Halloween in #gigatownoamaru:
It’s the work of Golding Arts.
Find out more at Oamaru Haunting.
This is the day I usually do my bah-humbug post lamenting the introduction of Halloween to New Zealand.
It’s so far in time and place from its origins.
Children making their own costumes and calling on neighbours who knew them might have been okay but children in outfits bought by parents calling on strangers is just tacky.
However, I’m setting my bah-humbug aside today to celebrate Oamaru Haunting.
It’s an augmented reality experience created by Derek Golding, a talented and imaginative photographic artist whose work you can see at Golding Arts.
The All Hallows Eve event starts at the Criterion in Oamaru’s historic precinct after nightfall tonight.
Even if you’re not going to be able to be there you can download the app and experience a little of the creativity that makes #gigatownoamaru so special.
One of the many advantages of country living is that we are very unlikely to be bothered by children tricking and treating for Halloween tonight.
It isn’t a celebration for which I have any fondness.
Like Guy Fawkes it is out of season here and it’s also out of time.
It might have had some good points a generation or two ago when children made their own costumes and showed them off to neighbours whom they knew well.
But it’s a hollow celebration now that the outfits are almost all bought and children turn up at doors of people they barely know, if not those of strangers.
Scrooge was referring to Christmas when he said, “Bah, humbug.”
But Halloween brings out the inner curmudgeon in me and I apply it to that trick and treating for what is more holloween.
That said I won’t be going as far as Credo Quia Absurdum Est to deter trick or treaters.
One of the advantages of living in the country is that we won’t be bothered by anyone tricking or treating.
If we were, unless I knew the children doing it, my inclination would be to discourage them.
It’s not so much that it’s a celebration imported from another country – many of ours are – it’s more that it’s from another time.
Then there were just a very few celebrations and the sweet treats which went with them- Christmas, Easter, birthdays and a very rare other special occasion. Neighbours knew neighbours and children put an effort into making their own outfits.
But it’s different now and I don’t see why parents forking out money on an outfit from the Warehouse is a good excuse for knocking on doors of people you don’t know asking for more sugar.
However, this year at least, Halloween isn’t all bad. Occupy Wellington protesters have had to move to make way for a Halloween party.
Halloween may have made sense in the United States a few decades ago.
Then an autumn celebration which called on children to use their ingenuity to make costumes then call on neighbours whom they knew well for treats was probably fun for all concerned.
But it’s not something which translates successfully to spring in 21st century New Zealand.
It’s just another excuse for children to ask their parents to spend money on tack and wander the neighbourhood exhorting sweets from people they don’t know well, if at all.
It’s the wrong season and the wrong era.