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How to celebrate Halloween in style

How to celebrate Halloween in style

Halloween, once largely overlooked in Australia, is becoming more popular every year. The tradition dates back at least 2,000 years, when it was known as All Hallows Eve, and may date back much further, with roots in the Gaelic festival of Samhain.

Wherever it came from originally, it’s definitely here to stay. On 31 October, Australians can expect to see their streets bedecked in cobwebs and jack o’lanterns, with hordes of small ghosts and witches trooping from door to door.

Want to join in but not sure how? Here are our quick tips for a spooktacular garden display.

Light up the night

Witches and ghouls come out to play at night, and so should you! Lights are an effective way to decorate, and perfect for this particular holiday.

String Halloween-themed lights between your trees or over your front door. You can choose from ghosts, pumpkins, skulls, witches and even eyeballs. Spine-tingling!

Solar lights that line your garden path help trick-or-treaters find their way to your door. Halloween-themed options are increasingly common. Go cute with friendly ghosts or gruesome with skulls on stakes.

There are many light-up figurines on the market, from cackling witches to groaning zombies. Most have motion sensors: set them up to skulk in the shadows and watch your visitors jump!

Hang up some horrors

Whether its cobwebs brushing your shoulders or a flying witch that swoops down, dangling things are always spooky.

Stretch fake cobwebs across your path so they cling to people as they walk through. Hang spiders from your tree branches – either a cluster of small spiders or a well placed giant furry one will do the trick. You can also get flying figurines, like a cackling witch, that you can string up at eye height for maximum impact.

Get creative with candy

Once your trick-or-treaters have found their way to your door, make them work a little for their treats. Invest in a cauldron with a lid that threatens to come down on their fingers – gently, of course! Got a balcony? Lower the treats in a basket, or even a skull, and invite them to reach in…if they dare.

Carve out some characters

Pumpkin carving is a fun activity to do with the kids. Hollow out your pumpkin, carve out some scary teeth and scary eyebrows, and put a candle inside to light up your creation.

Halloween pumpkins (the large, hollow type) are easily found in supermarkets and greengrocers. Don’t try it with a Kent or a Queensland Blue, or you’ll be scooping seeds all night!

Keep it covid safe

Whatever you do, it’s important to keep things covid safe. To encourage good practices, try the following:

•   Offer only wrapped sweets

•   Offer treats in a socially distanced way. Holding out sweets in a fishing net or a cauldron on a stick are fun ways to keep your distance!

•   Wear a mask – perhaps as part of a Halloween costume?

•   Sanitise your hands regularly

•   If anyone in your house is unwell, or needs to isolate, skip the festivities this year. There’ll always be another one!

If you don’t want to participate

Halloween isn’t for everyone. Don’t want to spend the evening answering your doorbell to children wanting a sugar fix? No problem. In most neighbourhoods, it’s understood that a property without Halloween decorations (or at least a balloon tied to the gate) isn’t participating. However, if you want to make sure the message gets across, there are easy ways to do so.

You can buy a cute garden stake with a little blackboard sign in the shape of a pumpkin or witches hat and write a message. ‘No trick or treaters’ gets the point across, or keep it friendly: ‘sorry, the witches took all our treats!’. There are also several printable on line that you can affix to your door to let people know you’re not taking part.

Above all, remember that Halloween is supposed to be fun and low pressure. Spend only as much time and effort decorating as you want and let the kids’ imaginations run wild!

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