Well, the answer to that is, sort of.
Many holidays pass us by if we’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the Easter Bunny has visited us in Florida ( but not in India) and Santa has called in London and Wales, but what about Halloween?
Halloween in Britain.
For me, growing up in the UK, Halloween was vaguely acknowledged, there was maybe some apple bobbing and I remember my parents going to a Halloween themed “dance” most years. In my university days and 20s there was always some sort of Halloween dress-up pub-crawl or party, but the little kids still weren’t trick or treating.
Recently Halloween has been growing in popularity in Britain. Trick or treating arrived as a “thing” and was rather more trick than treat, I remember it being widely frowned upon by the grown-up population and used as an excuse for violence and vandalism by some youngsters.
These days Halloween celebrations are becoming more and more mainstream. The supermarkets and newsagents in London last year went all out on selling Halloween themed candy and decorations, but it’s still nothing like the huge holiday it is in the USA. Strange for a festival with it’s roots “over here” rather than “over there”.
Some British children will go trick or treating and some houses will decorate. Others will lock their doors, turn off the lights and pretend to be out, just in case children should knock. For us last year, Halloween coincided with an outbreak of norovirus, we were quarantined for almost two weeks and the boys were the sickest they’ve been, anywhere in the world. I must admit, I was glad to escape Halloween celebrations.
On the whole, the level of Halloween celebration in the UK depends on what sort of neighbourhood you live in. If the area has a lot of young families and the community is tightly knit, expect more activity than in other areas.
It’s generally accepted these days, that if you have a carved pumpkin outside your house ( or some other decoration), you’re game for trick or treating, if not, best stay away.
So, to my American readers, no, we don’t celebrate, not like you do, but to the Brits, it’s getting bigger and bigger. Some will see that as a good thing, some as an annoying Americanisation.
In the UK, unlike America, all Halloween costumes are horror themed, random, cutesy, fancy dress costumes just won’t cut it for us..
Halloween in Australia
My boys spent 6 childhood years in Australia, where Halloween celebrations were huge. In our town every child was out on the street on Halloween evening, collecting arm-fulls of candy ( lollies to the Australians, sweets, to the Brits) from lavishly decorated homes. It was a very big deal indeed. They miss it, never, at any other time, was there such a sugar feast.
I know this isn’t the case all over Australia, but in Port Douglas, it was massive.
The boys look forward to Halloween and are always disappointed when I explain that, it’s just not like that here.
Halloween in Romania
This year we’re celebrating Halloween in Romania. There are a few decorations on sale in the shops, but I doubt we will see any trick or treaters. The boys carved pumpkins, there are pumpkins everywhere at this time of year, but I think that will be the extent of our involvement.
Maybe we’ll tell a few scary stories, we’ll certainly be watching out for Vampires, after all, this is Romania, the land of fairy tale and legend. ( We’ve had loads of fun putting our Dracula post together today, learning as we went).
So, here’s a little infographic for those of you with an interest in spooky happenings in the UK.
Happy Halloween, wherever you are.
I know that the Christmas celebrations here in Breb are going to be huge and very different to anything you or I have seen before, there will be bear, sheep and goat costume dances, carol singers and walking buffets, we’re looking forward to sharing that with you immensely.