Trick or treat? What do you think about Halloween?
GLADSTONE residents have mixed feelings about the growing popularity of Halloween, with some seeing it as harmless fun for children, and others saying it's dangerous.
Responding to a post on The Observer Facebook page on Monday, some commenters expressed concern about letting children wander the streets and take lollies from strangers.
"I really don't get why one day a year you let your children walk up to strangers' houses and let them take candy, when every other day of the year you tell them don't talk to strangers and don't take anything from strangers," Kara Reynolds commented.
Jade Rays agreed, saying she didn't like what it was teaching children - to go up to strangers and ask for candy.
"It's dangerous. It's also rude to knock on people's doors for candy. I'm sure there are some other things we can think of that benefit our kids," she said.
Other commenters expressed concern about yet another largely American tradition taking hold in Australia.
"I don't believe in Halloween. It's not Australian," Nicholas Henry commented.
However, there were plenty of supporters, with many people saying it was just harmless fun.
Koula Islay said it was something children could do, it was fun, and some of the costumes were very well done.
Kate Bauer didn't see the harm in it either.
"It's just another thing for the kids to enjoy," she said.
Carlie Jordan also was a fan, saying it was harmless fun for the kids to enjoy playing dress ups and being creative.
"It's just as much fun for the adults too," she said.
Halloween, celebrated on Thursday, has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain.
The festival of Samhain was a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter.
The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped, and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.
Masks and costumes were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them.
Halloween is popular in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada, and because of increased American cultural influence in recent years, trick-or-treating has started to occur among children in many parts of the world.
What do you think about Halloween? Have your say in our comments section or on our Facebook page.
What do you think about Halloween?
This poll ended on 29 November 2013.
It's a bit of harmless fun that kids love
It's another American tradition infiltrating Australia
It teaches kids to take candy from strangers. Not good
I'm not a fan, but I don't mind others getting in the spirit
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.