Today was Halloween. I say "was" because I live in Denmark, and October 31st has just come to an end on this side of the Earth, making room for the much less spectacular day of November 1st.
Having reached my 17th year of it, I thought I was over the whole Halloween-business. The thing about living in Denmark is that no one here really cares about Halloween. Not like Americans do. Like I do. I'm only kidding... But still... Aside from my family, and the American embassy one street down, there's not an American household in sight around here. Which means that our Halloweenabilities are vastly impaired.
Halloween in Denmark mainly consists of three things...
- Of course we have have trick-or-treating - but that's mostly to please the kids (even though I would gladly have dropped all my books and sprinted from school to trick-or-treat all day long, if I could). Still, it's nice to see five-year-olds running around as skeletons, pumpkins and princesses all evening.
- Some people - not everyone - decorate their houses with tombs, skeletons and jack-o-lanterns. Still, it's an irregular sight, walking down a Danish street on Halloween; you can hit one house decorated with spider webs, tombstones and caskets, with skeletons and monsters hanging over the doorstep, while bats flutter out of the open windows (oh yeah, some of us go all the way). But then, just one door down, you'll see just another plain old yellow brick house, with a white fence and a cute dog instead of a sprawling plastic corpse in the front yard.
- Accompanying the kids, you might even see the occasional adult dressed up as the grim reaper or a crooked-nosed witch - but that is actually on the verge of weird, even for Halloween.
And that's it. No bobbing for apples, no stories about ghouls or goblins (I doubt any Dane would actually know what those two words mean), no Halloween decorations in the street, no proper Halloween-themed shops, not nearly enough drunk people on the street dressed in inappropriate Halloween costumes, no mandatory Halloween parties at school or with class, and above all, no acknowledgement whatsoever of the proper importance of Halloween.
I'm sad to say that my family set just about the worst example on our street today. We didn't even turn on the lights in our drive way, let a lone a jack-o-lantern. And there were no spiderwebs or skeletons hiding in our garden, nor witches or monsters answering the door. In fact, the only Halloween merchandise we did manage to acquire was A) A pumpkin (which rotted yesterday, before any of could get our act together to cut out a jack-o-lantern), and B) Candy. And the saddest part? We didn't get a single trick-or-treat'er. Not one.
I protest. I won't have it. I want a proper Halloween! I want to experience every gut-chilling, bone-wrenching, horror-inducing, Halloween-related scare there is to offer; I want to bob for apples, trick-or-treat at age 17, eat nothing but candy for days (the proper, American synthetic kind) and have the remnants and spoils of a good night's hunt lying around my room. I want to dress up every day for a week leading up to Halloween; Monday (princess), Tuesday (pumpkin), Wednesday (grim reaper), Thursday (witch), Friday (Frankenstein), Saturday (vampire), and Sunday (mummy). And I want Halloween to be a big deal for everyone; for my friends (Halloween-parties and binge drinking dressed up as Dracula's and Catwomen), for my little sister (trick-or-treating and watching horror-movies with about 50 other teenage girls) and for my parents (decorating the house with pumpkins, stuffed black cats, spiderwebs, tombstones and greeting the kids at the door dressed as Morticia and Gomez Adams).
Or maybe I just want to try celebrating Halloween properly. In the States. I have the best memories of Halloween from when I was little; and it just occurred to me today, what a great tradition it is. Lighting up late October with the orange glow of jack-o-lanterns, delightedly terrified screams of small kids piercing the air, and everything eery, dark, black and scary becoming something fun and playful.
Guess I'm not too old for Halloween after all.
T I P S A N D G U I D E L I N E S F O R H A L L O W E E N
W H E N A N S W E R I N G T H E D O O R
... When you hear the doorbell ring
... The moment you open the door
... Hoping that I'll still be answering the door, scaring the crap out of kids, when I'm 80
S P E C I F I C A L L Y I F S O M E K I D S A Y S : " T R I C K O R T R E A T"
... And you're not really in the mood
W H E N C H O O S I N G Y O U R H A L L O W E E N C O S T U M E
... When people ask you, what you're dressed up as, because they can't guess your costume
... When your costume's awesome
... Coordinate costumes with friends for extra fun
... When you realize that you don't need a costume, because of your nice, October (corpse-like) pallor
W H E N E V E R Y O N E D E C I D E S T O D R E S S A S I N D E C E N T L Y
A S P O S S I B L E
... And you were planning on going as a sheet-ghost
... And then you realize there's not a single Halloween costume in your house
W H E N A S S E S S I N G T H E C O S T U M E S O F O T H E R P E O P L E
... To your friends
... To people you don't really know
("Yeah... yeah, that totally works...")
... When you see twelve-year-old girls dressed up as sluts, and trick-or-treating
P O S T - H A L L O W E E N
... When someone asks you if you are in to Halloween
... How to deal with the abundance of left-over candy
.... When your friends say they've outgrown Halloween
I love Halloween. And who knows; next year, I might get my
nightmare dream Halloween night!
Thanks for listening,
I Am Roseberry