Halloween season at our house was a lot of fun! Nasreen decided she wanted to wear her Cinderella dress she had from her last princess birthday party. I was happy about this because I love this dress. I had gotten it online and I have never seen another child ever wearing the same one. It is long and thick and even has an under skirt hoop to make it larger on the bottom like a true princess dress. It really is a stunning dress. I love Halloween because it gives me a chance to dress up. In high school I did theater and I love pretending to be someone or something else. As an adult you don’t get that opportunity much. This year I put on some vampire teeth some white make up and a black dress and went as a classic vampire.
Halloween is not just a single day in the United States. Yes the night of Halloween and trick or treating is important, but the days leading up to it are important as well. I remember sharing all these traditions with my husband during the early part of our marriage and now with our daughter. Here are a few of the traditions we follow.
1: Trip to the pumpkin patch. Is you live near the country like I do you make a trip to the local pumpkin patch farm. There you will find pumpkins growing on the vine, hay rides on the back of tractors, mazes cut into the high corn, petting zoos, and more recently jump houses. Kids and adults love getting a chance to visit a farm and experience all the fun that it has. My daughter went with her preschool this year and I was able to attend it with her. She had such a fun time picking out her pumpkin and doing all the activities. This is a huge part of the Halloween season that kids will remember for years to come!
- Carving the pumpkin: Whether you get the pumpkin from the store or a pumpkin patch the goal is to carve it and make it something silly, scary, or sweet. My husband who is from India loved carving his first pumpkin. At first he really did think it was quite strange to carve a vegetable, but as he got started he didn’t want to stop. His first pumpkin he ever carved was carved on the front, back, and sides! This year he was just as excited to carve is pumpkin again. Its one of his favorite things to do this season.
- Haunted houses: Halloween is the time that haunted houses start popping up in the community. Companies and individual people create a scary place in a house or elsewhere and people walk through it. It is usually pitch dark and there are people in costume larking in the corners waiting to jump at you. Sometimes the makeup and costumes are very well done and you are convinced you are in a horror movie. It funny that people pay money to be scared. I love haunted houses but my husband does not like any of the scary stuff on Halloween. He likes pumpkins and candy but no on the monsters and blood and super natural. He hates horror movies as well. I took Nasreen to a kids fall festival that had a child’s haunted house. This girl is just like her daddy and screamed so loud the first time someone said boo! We rushed out of there!
- Special foods: There are foods that are specific to the fall season and Halloween. Fresh apples dipped in sticky caramel. Sweet Popcorn balls. Halloween candy corn. Soups and foods made out of pumpkin and other squash. Roasted pumpkin seeds taken out of the carved pumpkins. At parties people make foods into scary ideas, like punch with plastic eye balls in the bowl. I made cake pops for my friend’s party that looked like ghost and last year I made pumpkin and zombie eye ball shaped ones.
- Trick or treat: This is the most famous of the American Halloween traditions. Every year on the night of October 31st kids put on their costumes and head out with a bag/pillow care/ bucket to get candies. The first time I told my husband about this tradition he thought it was so weird. He said my kid will not go door to door begging for candy. I tried to explain it to him it was but he was not OK with it. I finally said sorry this is my culture and we are doing it. We went out and GC saw that it was totally normal! That everyone was doing it and it was a lot of fun. He relaxed then and now loves it! I totally understand his fear, imagining his wife and daughter doing door to door “ begging” for sweets and candy. He didn’t realize that everyone really enjoyed the tradition. This year we had a lot of fun and went to spend Halloween with our friends. My friends daughter is around the same age and she was dressed as Elsa from Frozen. The girls had a blast going trick or treating together. Holding hands and talking loudly and excitedly. They didn’t even care about the costumes that much, they just loved how exciting and fun it was. This year they really enjoyed themselves.
I hope you enjoyed this bit of info about American Halloween traditions and how my family celebrates this festive time.