Halloween

Pumpkin

I know that this is a slightly controversial celebration, but I like Halloween, but then I’ll love any shameless excuse for sweets and fancy dress.

I know there are a lot of nay-sayers, my husband included, who don’t get it. They seem to think Halloween is an American thing, and also that it’s somehow in competition with Bonfire night which is a British tradition. To me this doesn’t really stand up. Halloween predates Bonfire night, with trick or treating even referenced by Shakespeare. OK so it fell out of favour a bit and the recent resurgence in Britain has followed the American example we’ve seen on TV, but to be honest these US imports have made Halloween better. Pumpkins are a lot easier to carve out than Swedes and OTT decorations, carvings and outfits are funny, at times approaching genius.

It’s the one night of the year, it’s ok to do stuff which is usually frowned upon. I’m suprised kids don’t find it a bit confusing,

Normally:

Do not to accept sweets from strangers,

Halloween:

Actively seek out strangers and demand sweets.

Normally:

Don’t play with your food

Halloween:

Scoop out and throw away the inside, cut a face into it, set it on fire and leave it outside.

Normally:

Don’t give your little brother nightmares.

Halloween:

When you jump out on him, remember to scream “He’s going to kill us all” before coughing out fake blood and collapsing on the floor.

 

 

I also don’t see why it’s suggested Halloween diminishes Bonfire night. I enjoy both; can’t you have two celebrations in the same week? We just about manage with Christmas and New Year, although I do find International Talk Like A Pirate Day (September 19th) and Pituary Awareness Week (September 18th-24th) do clash a little.

Despite the wind and the rain, and their dad’s refusal to join in, my children would not be put off going trick or treating last night. Especially my four-year-old who was T&Ting for the first time and he was gonna get some damn sweets. It was brilliant.

We observed the Halloween etiquette of only knocking on doors displaying a pumpkin, leaving everyone else who didn’t want to play alone. Besides, they’re the ones who are usually a bit too weird even for Halloween.

Some houses really went to town, culminating in what is known locally as the ‘Halloween House’ owning to their commitment to the theme. Last night not only did they have the usual decorations adorning the house, but as you walked up the driveway a couple of monsters jumped up inside their car and started banging on the windows. Then, to claim our sweets, we had to walk past a kid dressed as a scary clown slowly rocking on a chair, which not only showed an impressive dedication given the weather, but was also genuinely creepy.

Back at home, I’d made my own ‘scary pumpkin’ biscuits, which even I admit have a poor effort/point ratio, but the trick or treaters were kind enough to make appreciative noises. When we ran out we took the pumpkins in and the evening was over. Next year I’m eyeing up a recipe for “broken-glass cupcakes” with the addition of some squirty jam, they’ll be perfect.

Halloween has suffered from bad press with all the urban myths of marauding teenagers given free rein to carry out acts of wanton vandalism , but I’ve never really seen anything like that. Presumably even the thickest kid on the street knows that “trick” isn’t a defence which can be used in court.  I can’t help think that stuff is Daily Mail style propaganda indulging in our twin fears of teenagers and America.

Anyway, it was fun, but now I’m in full-on bonfire mode, time to stuff an effigy.

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