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Halloween in Vancouver

Item:

“Probably wasn’t the best idea we had. We knew people did it all our lives, I guess just Halloween sorta sucked when you got older so you did other stuff.”

Informant states that teens in Vancouver wander around during Halloween causing trouble and being mischievous, very often to dangerous degrees. While he says people in America seem to be somewhat crazy on Halloween, it doesn’t compare to the tradition of teens in Vancouver. His friends and many other teens would go around with fireworks, firecrackers, and even M80s sometimes, causing a lot of trouble for people walking about during the holiday. They would shoot roman candles at one another and lob firecrackers over fences. He remembers this happening when he was a child, and his parents recall similar stories from their youth.

 

Context:

This rather dangerous tradition spanned 2-3 Halloweens for the informant, until they graduated high school. They never intended to deliberately harm anyone, but would often end up hurting one another. He doesn’t recall any particular reason for it, and it’s not something they would do on any day but Halloween. There wasn’t anything specific to Vancouver with the tradition, but he says being in a few different places for the holiday since, nothing compares to it.

 

Analysis:

While not rooted in any specific reasoning or location-specific motivation, this tradition is upheld for a decent amount of time in at least one area. It’s an opportunity to teens to be rowdy and dangerous for a night, likely when a lot of people are expecting it and watching out for it. Halloween seems to carry a lot of meanings for people depending on age group. He stated that the behavior they exhibited was pretty atypical for how his friends would behave through the rest of the year, but that they would be betraying a tradition if they didn’t act wild on the night of Halloween. Other people in the room, as he shared this information, made mention of a “Mischief Night”, which is similar but not typically fully associated with the night of Halloween.

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