A lot of my social media timeline today has been occupied with whether or not we, as Australians, should be buying into an ‘Americanised’ Hallowe’en and what the hell is Hallowe’en anyway.
Against my better judgment – seriously, I should know better – I responded to a comment that in the southern hemisphere we should be celebrating Hallowe’en in May and not October. Oh, for Pete’s sake.
I do not buy into the Hallowe’en thing, neither the tradition nor the commercialisation, but for the sake of accuracy, this is what is celebrated on 31st October.
The word “Hallowe’en” is a contraction of Hallowed Evening. It is the evening before All Saints Day which falls on 1st November and All Souls Day, 2nd November. The evening before the holy day of All Saints was traditionally a time to clear any evil spirits from the house. Hence, the whole scary play acting of witches, ghosts, zombies and so forth.