Friday, November 6, 2015


The tradition of Halloween is still catching on here. Not everyone celebrates it. It's still very new to a lot of people. It seems to catch hold in isolated neighborhoods where neighbors organize homes that will be available for trick-or-treaters to come visit. Generally, it was suggested to us to just visit homes that had halloween decorations out. We tried to adhere to this, but the decorated homes were very few and far between. I'd say 1 in 15-20 homes in our neighborhood had decorations. What I saw exactly ZERO of was Jack-O-Lanterns. None. Unless you count this cute little guy taped to a mailbox made from an orange.

We experimented with other homes and they seems ready and willing for visitors too. So it was a bit hit and miss. One home had quite a lot of decorations. They got so into the decor that when my kids rang the bell, they people opened the door in a hurry and threw out a fake bloody head while holding a bloody knife. For real. My daughter had a friend with her and the friend screamed loud and long. She was afraid to knock on any other doors after that. So...that was fun.

Though not a lot of people celebrate it, the tradition here seems to be in the phase focused on the scary--witches and ghosts and bloody things. The U.S. has moved on to being an opportunity to show some creativity and dress up as a character, like Millie did:

Can you tell who she is?

And Leo did a great job on his costume:

I went to the thrift store for Millie and Leo's costumes. Here a thrift store or secondhand store is called an "Op Shop." They had great things for what we needed for good prices. Mostly the Op Shops have clothing, and a few household items. Not a lot of furniture. For new costumes in the stores, I saw mostly the goblins and ghouls and gory.

This costume got my attention:

And this is just a little TOO real:

I did see a few kids dressed like Superman or Spiderman. I did see a little girl dressed as a unicorn. It was cute. Sorry no picture. But mostly people were ghosts or zombies or something scary.

Our church hosted a Trunk or Treat in the afternoon which was great because it was the majority of the trick or treating we were able to do. They had great participation and people went all out with the decorations. They gave out lots of candy, too! I thought maybe they'd be in the more moderate mode of candy amounts but, as always, these people are very generous. We got plenty of "lollies" (candy).

They had activities inside and went all out on decorations. All the walls had been decorated with halloween backdrops and scenery. A large area of the floor was covered with large spiders made from paper and black balloons. Henry had a blast running through it.

We didn't win any prizes for our Recycled Jack-O-Lanterns made from empty food containers and ghosts made from grocery bags, but the real large carving pumpkins here are $3/kilogram so I opted out on those. I liked these paper covered pumpkins better and they still attracted lots of trick or treaters. The neon paper kind of made them glow anyway.

Because of the season we are in, it's warm and the sun is up later. We couldn't have lit a pumpkin during trick-or-treating hours anyway. Which was a bummer because I thought Henry's reflective stripes on his firefighter costume were so perfect for Halloween because he'd be easily visible in the dark. But it definitely wasn't dark when we went trick or treating!

And Karly was a Greek Goddess. We made sure to fashion her costume in such a way as to not cut the white sheet so I could use it for my older daughter's bed when we joins us in January!

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