What is Halloween?
Halloween is celebrated on 31 October. The name is a short version of All Hallows’ Eve, the evening before All Hallows’ Day (also called All Saints’ Day) on the 1st of November. Many things we do at Halloween come from the Celtic festival Samhain.
The traditional Halloween activity of trick-or-treating is mainly followed in North America but is becoming more popular in New Zealand. Costumed children go from house to house, asking for treats with the question, "Trick or treat?"
Traditionally, those who refused to offer a treat might then have a "trick" played on them but this tradition is not followed in New Zealand. We're polite trick-or-treaters!
It's good to have fun at Halloween, but to keep things from getting too scary New Zealand Police have some tips for safe trick-or-treating:
- always go trick-or-treating with an adult
- stay in areas that are well lit
- only visit houses where you know the residents
- be careful not to scare elderly people
In this video, kids explain how to stay safe when trick-or-treating.
Scary stuff at your library
Come along to Trick or Treat and Tales at Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre. Hear some (sort of) scary stories and decorate a loot bag before you head out trick or treating.
Thursday, 31 October 3.45 to 4.30pm. Ages 3 to 7.
For kids 12+, try Halloween book speed dating at Tūranga on Friday 25 October to find your perfect horror fiction read.
- Halloween at Britannica Library Kids
- Lots of information about Halloween and its history. (Access with your library card number and PIN / password)
- Halloween at Learn English Kids
- Games to play, stories you can watch and stories you can be in!
- Halloween at PBS Kids
- Have all the fun of Halloween with Arthur, Sid and Super Why. Play games, find costume ideas, make music and share your scary Halloween story.
- 25 Halloween games for kids
- Crafts, games and activities for kids with a Halloween theme.