Saturday, October 31, 2009

Feeling blue.

Somehow Halloween isn't the same this year.

I don't know why, but it isn't.

Wish we were there...they must be so excited right now, waiting to go out.

Maybe we'll fly over next year for the festivities.



Here tonight is Castanyes...chestnuts.  Traditionally you eat, well, chestnuts and sweet potatoes.  For dinner we had these:



Check out those monsters.  They are traditional local old-fashioned (there is a special name for that...the word is not coming to me) anyway, we got some of those.  Made quite a lot of them in fact.  Good thing they aren't too bad.  Not as sweet as sweet potatoes, a sample on the left, but not as bland as regular taters.

The locals here are kind of anti-Halloween, not everyone, but some folks have events that are pushing the local Castanya festival instead of Halloween.  They are worried about loss of culture, that the kids will lose interest in Castanyes and only want to do Halloween....I get that. I am also a little tiny bit offended too.  I love Halloween.

What I really miss about Halloween is the community nature of it.  There is no religious or cultural bent, just whole communities dressing up their houses and themselves, coming out and chatting, kids coming around...a big fat festival.....with everyone involved, and all the excitement leading up to it....no matter how hard you try, it just isn't the same when you are away.  No one else cares.  Indeed, I feel a little like I am offending some people because we want to do something about it.

Sucks to be them.

Still.

It just ain't the same.

Wish I could be excited about the house...but I'm not.

14 comments:

Vancouver Isle Doug said...

Hmm, you would not like where we are...way out in the country so no kids trick or treat. There IS a festival of sorts at the volunteer fire dept down the road, but I ain't that into Halloween.

Nice new pic at the top of the blog, by the way.

Sunny and about 15C today. VERY nice day here to laze around the house.

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

I agree with you about the spirit of Halloween. It's small communities opening up within themselves, discovering where people live (Oh hi! You live here!) after seeing them in the park or in the schoolyard or at the pool all year. We were lucky again this year - the rain stopped, the moon is almost full and plenty of ghouls and goblins running around on sugar highs. The best! (Next to Christmas.)

J.G. said...

Halloween was always a favorite of mine, too: an excuse to dress up in a headscarf, long skirt, and all my mom's costume jewelry (theme: a gypsy (n/k/a a Roma girl)) and walk around the neighborhood with my friends after dark.

I hate to see it going so commercial and complex, now. Store-bought costumes. Parents who drive their kids to the "good" neighborhoods, instead of letting them go around to their own neighbors. Or they go to the mall or other "safe" places. It's sad, though probably necessary. Which is doubly sad.

oreneta said...

Doug, I think I would ADORE where you are, I would just have to find some friends in areas that are a little more full of kids...a little less rural maybe...the picture is from Georgian Bay this summer.

Bodhi, I checked the weather on line last night....looked like a good night. I do so miss the community aspect of it. It is nice to get to meet the neighbours, and there are always a few kind souls who have stuff out for the parents too!

JG, I agree too that you should stick to your own hood....and make, or mostly make the costume. I have gone and bought clothes at a used clothing place for the effort, but it has to be self-made. What on earth is going on with the mall??? I always just went with my dad....if I lived in an area where I didn't feel safe trick or treating, I would go somewhere else, but the mall? Sick and weird...

Nomad said...

ya.. I so get you.

SO.

Also the idea that the kids are growing UP...past the age where it is just BEYOND exciting ...and well...we are missing it. SUCKS

You know. I know that we know there is still so much to the equation than that but it still sucks.

Sorry you are feeling blue. For me I get gut wrenchingly homesick at thanksgiving...

Nomad said...

ya.. I so get you.

SO.

Also the idea that the kids are growing UP...past the age where it is just BEYOND exciting ...and well...we are missing it. SUCKS

You know. I know that we know there is still so much to the equation than that but it still sucks.

Sorry you are feeling blue. For me I get gut wrenchingly homesick at thanksgiving...

oreneta said...

Hey you... Youngest and I were talking about the Halloween we had with your kids last year too...that was serious fun. Different holidays for different folks. We usually forget thanksgiving, but Halloween gets me.....ah well. Maybe we should both go to Canada for the relevant holidays next year. Even if for a week.

elpadawan said...

There was not even the slightest feeling of Halloween around here. Nobody rung at the door, no house was decorated, and no shops either. Well, there was a small witch statue in front of the dog salon down the street. I guess that's that.

Beth said...

There is a lot of French anti-Halloween sentiment, as well...all on the part of crabby older folks, of course. The kids all love it.

ITA with you on the community, do-it-yourself aspect of the holiday. It's so much fun to make costumes and decorations!
I think the above is why lots of French people don't "get "Halloween". They don't ever "craft" stuff at home. It wouldn't even occur to them to make a costume from old clothes, make popcorn balls or carve a pumpkin. Once you take that kind of activity out of the equation, it means you 'celebrate' by buying stuff. And that's no fun at all.

I do hope you get to go to Canada for a good Halloween, one of these years- preferably before the girls are all grown up...

oreneta said...

elP, my sister threw a halloween party in Paris, so one little corner was all excited anyway...

Beth, that may indeed be part of it, if it is just something expensive to go and by AND it is from the land of McDonalds, double bad. The kids do love it though...tons.

Helen said...

Halloween is, of course, religious. It is the eve of All Hallows, and a Catholic country like Spain will still take All Saints Day on 1 Nov seriously probably. The reason for the witches etc is that it was supposed to be the night when they had power. It was against God and the Saints. The trick or treating is much more common in the UK so we had about a dozen or so small kids coning round

oreneta said...

Helen, I will grant that you are right, technically it is religious, and certainly in South America where All Souls is a BIG deal it IS a religious thing. Tots Sants here is a religious thing, but all they do is visit the cemetery and most people don't. Halloween in North America is all about community and has nothing to do with religion, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddist, Christian and athiest kids all go out together and all decorate their house together because it is so not about religion in any way...it is about communities doing something with each other for the kids in that community and having a big fat load of fun...everyone is home, everyone has their doors open, everyone tours the neighbourhood and chats with the people that live there, we all have something to talk about, the passing kids, the decorations in the houses; and many houses start decorating weeks in advance and people go by every few days to check out what they have done and stand in little groups chatting about it. The religious origins of it are frankly barely known.

SO I guess what I am saying, and which is hard to get if you only have seen Halloween in movies, or a few kids going around, is that it involves EVERYONE, whatever age, race, sex whatever....everyone comes out and plays and it is magic.

Katrina said...

Just got back from a week in Winnipeg and catching up on your blog. I totally get what you're saying about the community nature of it (though of course we lived on the same street so it makes sense that your experience of it resonates with me). It was a blast this year. We had a really fun house party the night before with all the adults and kids and then did exactly those tours of the neighbourhood you're referring to the next night. Peter and Ursula outdid themselves with decorations,corny jokes and spooky sound effects. We missed you.

oreneta said...

We are so going to have to fly over next year, it's stupid, but we've got to do it again before the kids are too big.
I'll start saving my pennies now...
WOOT, Abbott ave for Halloween!!!