Halloween Down Under–Sydney, Australia

Does Sydney celebrate Halloween? Sort of. Six years ago, no one even knew how to carve a pumpkin, but the popularity of the holiday is surging. Since last year alone, stores have seen a 175% rise in Halloween sales. It must be all of those annoying Americans who live here (us) and want to take their kids trick or treating! Since I was taken by surprise about Halloween’s existence here, I cracked and bought my daughter a costume (I usually love a good costume craft project) at Pottery Barn Kids. Her favorite Aussie cartoon is Giggle and Hoot, so she wanted to be one of the owls, Hootabell.

We cabbed over to a festive Halloween party (hosted by a native Minnesotan) in Paddington, an area that has embraced the holiday with gorgeous decorations and lots of candy. Even so, about one in every ten houses offered candy, a lot ran out the goods by 6pm, and many had bowls of loose skittles or m+m’s–apparently they haven’t gotten the memo on poisoned candy that filled us with fear in 2nd grade. Which is why all Aussies should read this entertaining article on how to participate in Halloween. But I loved trick or treating in broad daylight at gorgeous Victorian terrace houses, surrounded by blooming purple jacaranda trees. And it was 70 degrees. I could get used to that. It was a refreshing break from our last few Halloweens in the absolute chaos of 78th street in New York.

Fun was had by all, and we ended up with a whole bag of Cadbury/different candy that we have never seen before. Here’s to Halloween with a southern hemispheric twist. I’m sure we will miss it next year!