Onlookers watch (from left) Lindsay Edwards, Kez Wallis,
Andrew Wilson, Cory Richards, Chrystall Kerr, David Gadsby,
Nathan Pattison and Daniel Harmes spreading Halloween cheer
in the Octagon yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Dunedin remembered the dead in colourful fashion
yesterday. Sylvester the Cat, Darth Vader and even Guy Fawkes
made appearances in the city to celebrate Halloween.
There was plenty of fun, but little respect for the tradition
of the 250-year-old custom, which stems from the Scottish All
Hallows' Eve, or ''holy evening'', when dead saints (hallows)
and martyrs were honoured.
Dozens of University of Otago students wandered through town
in Guy Fawkes masks, while staff from Dunedin business Fluid
Recruitment made a colourful lunchtime run in a collection of
''We just thought we'd visit local businesses and spread some
Halloween cheer,'' managing director Nathan Pattison said.
A group of disadvantaged children also turned the tradition
around by visiting pensioner flats in North Dunedin and
giving residents fruit baskets.
''We thought it would be a nice change to give people gifts
on Halloween, instead of asking for a trick or treat,''
Operation New Direction Trust manager Rob Fitzpatrick said.
''A lot of our kids are from impoverished families and this
is a nice opportunity for them to give something to the
community and see how good it feels to give out.''
The light side of Halloween was celebrated at Forsyth Barr
Stadium last night, where the Light Party was held as a
positive alternative to Halloween.
There was no scare in the air, with all frightening costumes
''Many parents don't like Halloween, with the trick and
treating and scary costumes,'' organiser Grant Hardy said
''This is a good Halloween family-oriented event.''
The party included face-painting, a bouncy castle, Noddy
train and entertainment from jugglers, clowns and bands.