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2011 The Nightingale's Oddessy Our exchange year in Canada.

Halloween 2011

CANADA | Wednesday, 2 November 2011 | Views [422]

Halloween in Burlington

Finally the day Natasha has been waiting all year for arrived. Halloween!!! Tash has been preparing for this year’s Halloween since before we came out to Canada, she had even chosen a costume back home which she had wanted to bring with her. Luckily her mother persuaded her otherwise.

So it was with high hopes we prepared for our first official Hallows Eve. Tash and I went out three weeks ago and selected pumpkins and she kept pushing me to begin carving, lucky for us I didn’t as the pumpkins don’t last long once they are carved, as friends of ours discovered. Costumes were selected sometime back, but Ryan’s idea of going as an evil pumpkin had something of a setback when he tried the costume on again a couple of days ago and realised he could no longer fit into it. So mother and son had to make a late night dash out to a Halloween store (of which there are many) to select another. Natasha selected a witches costume (no surprise there) while Chelle had a long flowing gown and I had a Howling Ghost (so I could hide my face and wouldn’t scare the little kids) On the subject of Halloween costumes, seeing some of the adult costumes in the shops I’m not sure if Halloween is about the kids or the adults and the parties that take place afterwards.

As could be expected Halloween is a big deal over here and the decorating that happens at people’s houses is only limited by the imagination and the bank balance. I priced some of the animatronic decorations and they run into hundreds of dollars and some people do have them outside their places. Many of the houses in the street had decorations out in trees and in the garden and these ranged from headstones and graves to ghost and ghouls in trees, to skeletons on the porch.

We decided to go with a few pumpkins and some cobwebs and blank the front end of the garage off with plastic so it looked dark and spooky. Pumpkin carving was a lot of fun and not as hard as I expected and yes I still have all my fingers. There is no lack of templates available on the net for designs; once again the only limit is the imagination. The three large pumpkins I cheated and copied templates, while the two smaller ones were my own creations.

One thing we were told to be aware of is Devils night or mischief night. This is the night before Halloween when people go about making mischief (which is a polite way of saying being destructive), so we made sure we didn’t set the decorations out early. Unfortunately some people seem to think going around and smashing other peoples carefully carved pumpkins is a bit of fun.

Halloween was once again an Aussie affair with Mick, Laureen, Calum and Tiahn as well as Ken and Francesca coming over. The protocol is the kids go out trick or treating from 6.00 - 8.00. So everyone arrived early so we could have a bite to eat and a couple of drinks before letting four hyper young Aussies loose on the unsuspecting Canadians. Chelle had bought a couple of big tubs of mixed lollies so these were set out ready for the hordes and we all sat around to watch the world go by. Laureen, Mick and Michelle did the first shift with the kids walking them up and then back down the street, each of them carrying a pillow case for the loot. I’m sure I could hear Tash all the way up the street; she was really getting into it. Ken, Francesca, Sue our next door neighbour and I stayed back handing out the lollies to the kids that came by. We had between 50 and 60 dressed up in all sorts of costumes, some with mum and dad and others in small groups, all were very polite and well mannered. After the kids had been up and back in one direction we then swapped and Mick and I finished off the rest of the street with the kids; who had by now teamed up with another couple of their mates and were going around as a group.

By 8:00 everything had started to wind down, so we closed up shop and retired inside for something warm to drink and so the kids could divide the loot. It wasn’t until then I realised how much they had got, each had a sackful and they were sat in the middle of the floor surrounded by lollies and chips, horsetrading with each other. We won’t be able and don’t intend to finish these before we leave. Once again the amount of goodies that kids get over here has been anticipated and there are a number of charities set up to take all the extras and dish them out to kids that don’t get them or turn them into cash etc. A good outcome for all.

So that was our Halloween, a fun night and I’m sure one that Natasha will want to replicate when we get back home.

For the last word on how it all went; Natasha’s French teacher came up to me a lunch time and said how Tash had told her it was the “Best night of her life ever”, so I guess it rates up there with all the other best nights she has had.



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