Saturday, November 1, 2008

November 1- All Saints Day, Dia de los Muertos

We will celebrate Halloween today with the American Women's Club annual Halloween Party at the indoor play area in Lund. (Closest Saturday to the 31st) Last year Maya went as a "ballerina,kitty". For her day care's party she went as a "mermaid, cat, fairy" . But this year she'll be a "witch mommy". She's going to carry a little doll dressed as a witch and I'm supposed to be the Mormor (grandmother) witch. I'll post photos later...I"m really not sure what we're wearing but we'll come up with something.

Last year we were really into Halloween...Maya had a small party with 3 friends over here and we did many activities together in the little group. Maya helped me with all the planning and preparation. For her Day Care's party we made cupcakes with cute things on top that my mom had sent from "home". But this year...we were going to have a little party again with just 4 friends and as we were planning it (before the invites went out) Maya got TWO invitations in the mail for Halloween themed birthday parties! That's 3 parties this weekend! So we decided to skip our own. Halloween has really become popular in Sweden in the time I've been here.

I've avoided organizing a "trick or treat" around our neighborhood for Maya because I feel strongly about not intruding on the Swedish culture with our American/Canadian/Great British traditions. As an American I feel like we already influence the Swedish culture so much so I didn't want to be a part in forcing yet another thing on this society from my culture. So I've sat back quietly as other Americans I know (in other towns) give out letters to explain Halloween trick or treating to their neighbors (neighbors that many people have never introduced themselves to!) and organize a trick or treat night. I just couldn't do that in my community....and I know all my neighbors pretty well. (this is not common, apparently) But now more and more Swedish children are seeing "trick or treating" from movies and TV shows and they have just up and done it themselves. Going door to door saying "bus eller godis" and some have eggs and rocks with them so they throw things at the houses or apartments that don't give out any treats. (I explained to my students that we don't really do that in the USA...ok maybe a few people do but it is not common.) So the Swedish kids are giving Halloween a bad name! (click here to read about it) Then....there's a lot of confusion over the date. Many kids just go out when they feel like it, dressed up or not. And ask for candy. (My colleague's daughter did this last week.) "Halloween" is not printed on the calendars made in Sweden but I would recommend they do soon.....or we'll be doing Halloween from mid-October almost until December! (I have a staff Halloween party on November 7 next week!) Halloween is on the 31st of October! So maybe next year I will organize my neighborhood so that we can do it right. LOL

Sweden has another "imported" holiday that is more Swedish than its orginal country....St. Lucia which came from Italy during the crusades...but more about that in December!

How long do people normally celebrate Halloween in the USA or Canada?


lizardek said...

Anders was out walking around with the kids last night during our trick-or-treating and had several parents come up to him and say how glad they were that we had organized this. They really appreciated it and thought it was fun.

Brenda said...

I really enjoy the information you share about Sweden. It is sad that the media/movies and other influences promote the bad "influences" of Halloween. Have a great time at all of the events you and Maya are going to be doing.