Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween Around the World

Even from the time I studied abroad in London, I knew that Halloween was not as widely-celebrated in other countries as it is in America. In fact, I remember going to a Chelsea vs. Leicester City football game on Halloween 2007 in London...not very Halloween-like...

Growing up in America, Halloween equated to visiting pumpkin farms and apple orchards, working one's way through hay mazes, and making/buying costumes to go trick-or-treating. Overall, this time of year brought together communities and was a fun way to meet neighbors. Then, as high school and college years approached, Halloween became an extended bikini season with an abundance of nurse, schoolteacher, and other cliche "sexy" costumes (cue cringeworthy flashbacks right

I spent the entire last week with an Aussie family up on the Sunshine Coast. The family is made up three spunky, beautiful, curious girls. Since they have never been exposed to American culture and it was Halloween week, I decided to pass down some of my favorite holiday traditions.

Most importantly, we had to get the girls a pumpkin to carve, so we went to their local IGA grocery store to scope out the goods. We found one that seemed suitable. After we brought it home, I had each of the girls draw out what they wanted the pumpkin face to look like. Then, it was guts-picking time! The girls reached right in and instantly I saw each of their faces turn into the biggest "yuck!" expressions I'd ever seen. Proof:

On the night of Halloween, I took the girls trick-or-treating. In the process, I found out a couple different things about Australian Halloween vs. American Halloween:

1. In Australia, people only dress up as evil things. No Disney princesses around these parts!
2. In Australia, you don't trick-or-treat until after dinner when it's dark. As a kid, I remember it being a rule that kids had to be in by the time it was dark. Is this still the norm? Or was this just what my parents told me? (love you, mom and dad!)
3. In Australia, they actually abide by the phrase "TRICK-or-treat." I saw a card trick and had to stick my hand in goo to fetch out a plastic spider in order to get lollies (candy).
4. And that brings me to my next difference: in Australia, all candy, no matter if it's a chocolate bar, fruit something-or-other, licorice, etc., is called "lollies." When I think of lollies, I think lollipop. Nope, not the case here.

Mummy, clown, zombie
Eye on the prize
I'm glad I was able to share my Halloween traditions with the girls as well as have them teach me a thing or two.

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