Halloween in New Zealand
When is Halloween celebrated in New Zealand?Halloween is celebrated annually on October 31st in New Zealand. It has gained popularity in the country in recent years, similar to its widespread celebration in the Western world, especially the United States and Ireland.
What is Halloween and Where Did it Come From?
Halloween originates from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), which was first observed nearly 2000 years ago.
The term Halloween, and its older spelling Hallowe’en, is shortened from “All-Hallow-Even”, as it is the evening before “All Hallows Day”. In Ireland the name was “All-Hallows Eve”. Halloween was also sometimes called “All Saints’ Eve”.
Over time, Halloween celebrations have evolved to be more formalized and focused on entertainment rather than the belief in ancient superstitions. As people stopped believing in spirit possession, the tradition of dressing up as hobgoblins, ghosts, and witches took on a more ceremonial significance.
Halloween is gaining in popularity in New Zealand with many retail outlets actively promoting Halloween costume sales in recent years. As a result, more and more children are participating in “trick or treating” each year. Once they’ve got the costume, they’ve got to do something with it. So, watch out for a knock at your door and perhaps be prepared with a few lollies! Or keep an eye out on community run Halloween events.
Halloween in New Zealand fosters community spirit, promoting neighbourly connections and a sense of unity. It offers a safe opportunity for individuals to explore their surroundings and meet neighbours they might not encounter otherwise.
Here in Geraldine one of our local churches host a Light Party every year where the community can come together with lots of treats and dress ups, but NO tricks a great alternative to Halloween.