Some Advice for a Safe and Respectful Halloween

Parents, today’s Halloween, and while it may be an exciting time for your child, it’s important to bear several things in mind before any trick or treating this year.

Just because all the other kids are doing doesn’t mean it’s okay for your child to dress as a Manchu bannerman.


Many good men died for the glory of the Qing Dynasty. It would be disrespectful of their memory if your child were to dress up as one of the many Manchu, Mongol, and Han soldiers who fought under the Eight Banners for such men as Nurhaci and the Qianlong Emperor. If your child is planning to go trick or treating as one of these bannermen, try suggesting they trick or treat as a soldier of the far less prestigious Green Standard Army instead. 

Make sure your child’s candy bag is free of bats.


Do not be fooled by such pro-bat propaganda such as Batman, or Dracula films. Bats are carriers of many infectious diseases, love dark places (such as candy bags), and are well known couriers of the dead. Before your child digs in to their goodies this Halloween, make sure to stomp on their bag of candy a few times. If a bat was hiding in there, your child can now safely eat it.

Gangs often recruit groups of trick or treating children to increase efficiency.


While trick or treating, your child may be approached by members of a criminal gang, who seek your child’s allegiance in their many gang wars. Educate your child on the many signs and codes associated with local gangs, how to tell the difference between the tattoos of MS-13 from the Vory v Zakone , who pushes what drugs, and for what price. If you know your child is wearing the wrong colours on a gang’s turf, make sure your child is packing heat. 

Halloween is the holiday of tricksters – be on the lookout for traps.


Many tricksters will be out and about on this night, goaded by the whispers of snakes and coyotes. The most classic of Halloween pranks is to plant traps along trick or treating routes, such as punji pits, IEDs, and especially falling logs. If your child is trick or treating alone, tell them to bring a stick with them to prod the ground in front of them for trigger mechanisms. If your child is trick or treating in a group this year, make the chubbiest of the group walk ahead of the rest – their larger bodies can absorb more punishment. 

What to do when your child absolutely insists on dressing up as Pieter Willem Botha?


Sometimes, no matter how much you try to dissuade them, children can be dead-set on a particular costume, and no amount of threats or incentives can convince them otherwise. They are, after all, just kids, and most children don’t fully understand the world of history or politics – some would argue it’s best to just let them have fun while they can. So, if your child is absolutely, positively sure they want to trick or treat as Apartheid-era South African prime minister and president Pieter Willem Botha, despite his many human rights abuses, and how insensitive this would seem to numerous racial minorities, be sure to tape a sign to your child’s back that says “I disagree with the tenets of Apartheid and merely dress as former prime minister Botha for aesthetic purposes”. While not a perfect solution, this should send the appropriate message to concerned parties.

Last but not least, make sure to have fun this Hallow’s Eve!



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