Saturday, November 3, 2007

Trick-or-Treating in Trondheim

The kids wore costumes at school and went trick-or-treating in the neighborhood of some girls in Maggie's class. (The girls are very kind, friendliness comes naturally to them.) Pam and the kids went to a Halloween party and were surprised to see all of the adults were dressed up in high-fashion costumes. Most of the women were witches in slinky black dresses, and some of the men wore tails.

It pleases me that it is popular in Norway, and it surprises me very much. Turns out Halloween originated in Ireland and is celebrated in Scotland, England, the Isle of Man, and is spreading to lots of other countries, like Australia and New Zealand. It seems a lot of people like to have a day to wear weird costumes. It's always been my favorite holiday, in fact, I've got a good story about how I once saved Halloween. I'll tell it to you sometime over a beer.

In Pam's class, the kids read "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" the week before, and they carved pumpkins ( are small and hard, like large gourds) and put out lots of candles. Pam found some candles with metal lids, which doesn't count as an "open flame" and so can be used indoors at school. She was excited to have her classroom lit with candles when the kids arrived in the morning, until the kids walked in and Cecilia looked and them and said, "Ummm... those are the candles we put on people's graves." Pam was aghast for a moment, but quickly recovered and they became part of the spirit theme. Creepy!

Imagine this:

In England long ago, families would eat little "soul cakes" during the evening and children would go door to door singing, or "souling" and receive treats. At midnight, the house lit brightly with candles, the family would gather around in silence awaiting the return of lost souls. A glass of wine would be offered to welcome them back to the world. How cool is that?

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