One of the great things about spending a year in another country is being able to share and participate in different cultural celebrations. Halloween is definitely one of these celebrations. Many people we have spoken with have suggested that Halloween is even more popular than Christmas in the US. If the house decorations are anything to go by, I could believe that Halloween is the biggest celebration of the year here. The images below show some of the wonderful displays.
Halloween is much more than just one evening of Trick or Treats. It starts with many Fall Festivals held throughout the city. We went to the Pumpkin festival held at the Botanic Gardens. We had lots of fun in the massive Corn Maze, but eventually ended up in the Pumpkin Patch. As you can see, Max was determined to select the biggest pumpkin he could actually carry.
Pumpkin carving is quite an art, but it is made easier by the many different pumpkin carving tools sold at local supermarkets. Even though we purchased our pumpkins a few weeks before Halloween, they could not be left out as the Squirrels would eat them and you could not begin carving them to early as they would rot - who knew this was such a tricky business.
I was embracing the spirit of Halloween and even made a Haunted House from gingerbread with the kids - not bad for a first effort!
Of course the highlight is the fun of dressing up in costumes. We had many opportunities to wear costumes, the first was the fall festival at Lincoln Elementary. The kids were very excited and looked fabulous!
Most of the kids were dressed up in amazing costumes. I was proud to have inspired one of my students to dress up as Frida Kahlo.
We were all impressed with the intricate make up on one of the boys. The scars and wounds looked amazing. They really take dressing up seriously here!
One of the highlights of the festival was the Haunted House. I was shocked at how much fun and how scary it was - I actually screamed out loud as I wandered through the exhibit.
But we were really waiting for the chance to Trick or Treat! Max spent weeks counting down the sleeps. After a very big day at school we headed across the road to celebrations at Lunden's house.
The house was filled with children and adults in full costume, full of excitement. Yasemin and Brooklyn had a ball in the yard playing zombies.
I was extremely happy as Frida, and almost overwhelmed when Obama arrived.
Max met up with his little friend Ezra and they put on some moves for the camera.
Even the little kids were in on the act - little Heiko was a divine little dragon!
After a wonderful meal we set off at dusk for a long walk around the neighborhood. We were an impressive posse of more than twenty children and a dozen or so adults. I was impressed with how kind all the households were and shocked at how much candy was accumulated - an offensive amount of candy! Thankfully we can take any unwanted candy to the local dentist, where they will pay us for our donation and then send the candy overseas to the troops.
I can't remember having so much fun with the kids - Halloween was much more fun than any of us expected!