Como Italy Mogliano Veneto Padova Sydney

Halloween Outside the US – A Trick or Treat?

It shouldn’t have come as surprise. A quintessentially American holiday has swept parts of the world including Australia. Carved pumpkins in shopping centres, Halloween cakes and sweets in shop windows, adults in party costumes, trick or treat in the streets and taking candy from strangers.

Bah-humbug… I hear the popping of fireworks in my quiet ‘burb.

Pizzavelly Italian Kitchen, Clovelly, Sydney

Little monsters roam the streets, screeching, snatching, grabbing and making a run with bags of sugary evil. I watch three little devils with long black hair and pointed forks, eyes darting in my direction ready to curse me with their spell. I stare back and shrug. And return an evil grin at the thought of parents with kiddies in a post sugar haze.

This is not Día de los Muertos in Mexico. Or the festival of Obon in Japan. Consumerism, greed and Americanisation. This is the erosion of our she’ll-be-right Aussie way of life.

When will someone put a stop to it before we start walking on the sidewalk, catching elevators, going on vacations, eating ANZAC cookies and wish everyone Happy Holidays? Oh wait…

As for me, I have Halloween all down pat. I’ve locked my front gate so none of the tricksters can find me. I’ve switched off the lights in my house. There’s an ethereal glow from my laptop. No one can see me now. I say with evil laughter. My pumpkin pie is in the oven. I’m wearing my lycra Halloween costume and I’ve cranked up the stereo to practise dance moves from Thriller!

Happy Halloween from Sydney!

Mogliano Veneto
Mogliano Veneto, Italy

Como, Italy

Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy

Lenno, Lake Como, Italy

Mazara del Vallo
Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, Italy

Padova, Italy

Norton St, Bondi Junction, Sydney

Supermarket, Sydney

Supermarket, Sydney


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.


  • Forget the kids! I was in the city yesterday(Melb) and there were so many 20+ year olds dressed in over the top costumes and incredible makeup, all having a great time. Any excuse for a party!

  • I’m chuckling. Hallowe’en has even spread to Turkey – more for the older ones though as Jenny mentions above. A lot of the bars are decorated and the young, trendy Turkish 20-somethings will part the night away in costume. With you all the way – not my bag at all. Still gonna make a scary face in our slice of pumpkin later on, though. 🙂

    • It seems to grow every year here. I remember a friend (from another part of Sydney) telling me about his kids doing trick or treat almost 9 years ago and I was baffled then. Now it’s insane!

  • Fun post! Halloween’s Americanism doesn’t annoy me too much, but I don’t think it’s truly caught on here to the same extent AS oZ by the sound of it. Only seen 4 pumpkins in our hood. You almost sound British when you get into your rant there though!
    Living in a tenament flat on the third floor we rarely get trick or treaters..except tonight the buzzer went in a shorter burst than usual. I answered it and was greeted with ‘Requiem!.’ They didn’t sound like little kids and it genuinely spooked me for a minute, I actually forgot it was halloween, told em they must have the wrong flat!

  • Don’t mind the young going out and having fun, but I don’t enjoy the gangs of youth that confront homes! One of the advantages of living in an apartment in the centre of Paris!!!

  • Halloween seems to have skipped the South of France! I heard it used to be popular here but then went out of fashion…oh well, I indulged in a ton of chocolate in order to keep “the spirit alive” 🙂

  • Im still not sure how I feel about Halloween. Its so massive in the US but really only the past couple of years has it hit here properly. I like the dressing up etc but Im a sucker for a good party lol

    • Halloween dress up parties are fun for adults, but kids doing trick or treat is such an American custom. And kids eat enough sugar as it is!