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Halloween is my favorite day of the year. I really think I enjoy it more than Christmas.
This is mainly for the reason you'd probably expect - I love dressing up. The majority of my friends are artists, photographers and models (not professional lah dee dah ones though!) and we all enjoy dabbling with a bit of clothes making and experimenting with makeup. So Halloween gives us a chance to have a group project, sewing and shopping for unusual bits and bobs for a month beforehand.
This year I was meant to be dressing as a peacock. I spent ages (and lots of money) on making a full tail of feathers and perfecting the hair cut on a peacock blue wig. I bought imported peacock feather eyelashes from Japan.
And then I got flu! And all Halloween i was throwing up, dressed in my pyjamas, with a nice sheen of sweat across my face and felt so rotten i couldn't even use my horrid appearance to my advantage and go as a zombie.
I was very disappointed. I was ill on christmas 2007 and think i am perhaps cursed for holidays from now on.
But at least a peacock is not exactly a ghoulish costume and can be used at the next all purpose fanct dress party....
I feel I should add something about Halloween...as today is...Halloween!
This is the first time I've been in America for Halloween, so I'm extra specially excited. Although when I was younger, we had American friends who used to take us on to the 'Greenham Common Airbase' to go 'Trick or Treating', and that was like stepping into America in itself (my friends at school were so jealous when I brought in all the American sweets that hadn't made it over to England by that point, don't worry, I shared them around) but this, actually being in America, is different. This whole day is going to be like no other Halloween, and I'm going to tell you why...
Firstly, NO-ONE embraces Halloween like the Americans, and I love them for that. We went to DisneyWorld a few weeks ago and they REALLY go for it also, everything was autumnal looking and Halloween themed, it looked stunning. To try an explain why today is going to be a lot of fun, and why no-one does it like the Americans...this is my agenda for the day...
1) It's just gone noon, and I have lots to do...I have to get our costumes together. My partner and I are going as a sailors, like in the Navy..I went to the Army surplus store yesterday to get dogtags and it was RAMMED with people getting costumes, you've never seen anything like it. This store is more or less quiet all year round, but now this time of year, you couldn't move...and it's a BIG place. It took us a few weeks to think of our costumes. We went shopping a few weeks ago...and my point was proved why I love America at Halloween. Target (kind of like Tesco, they sell everything, but with less food and more household stuff) had virtually half the store dedicated to Halloween, including 2 aisles for 'Trick or Treat' baskets alone, 4 aisles for themed sweets (not just cheap stuff, but classy 'thorntons' equivalent too), 4 aisles for Halloween gifts (!!?? I found out about 'boo boxes'), 4 aisles for things to decorate your house with and 6 aisles for costumes...not forgetting the section with costumes for your pet!! It was amazing! So, where was I? Oh yes, Costumes, they're nearly done, just need ironing.
2) I have to finish my pumpkin. My partner has an anchor carved and I need to finish off mine, which is Popeye. It's taken me bloody ages, but as an artist (who's just finished an art show in town) I felt obliged to be extra creative, to keep up my reputation, you know? It's getting there, and looks very good, if I do say so myself. I'll try and add a picture into my gallery next week or something.
3) Make a pumpkin pie. I have everything I need, I just need to make it. This evening at 6'o'clock, we're going to our friend's parents house to help give out candy to the 'Trick or Treater' kids. We live in a very urban part of the city, and they live in a more rural area with lots of families and school kids, so it should be much more of a community based affair over there. Which should add another dimension to the fun. Also, it's very republican over there, so as 'democrats' it will be interesting to chat with the parents to try and grasp why the hell anyone would want to elect a candidate that selects a complete unknown, ignorant, in-experienced, flawed excuse for a Vice President...by that I mean Sarah Palin!...The woman is a joke, as is McCain, but anyway, this is about Halloween, not Politics (thank the lord). American's do 'Trick or Treating' very differently (but this is probably different depending on what part of the states you go). Everyone's front doors are open with cauldrons (no joke, well ok, big big pots) of candys that the kids come and help themselves to. There's no sense of 'Give me something or else' which is how the UK seems to do it. I've had teenagers at my door (in UK) without a costume expecting something (a bop in the face I would to have given) then are angry when you don't have anything for them and confused why you don't think they've dressed up properly. It seems if you 'Trick or Treat' in the UK, you'll be lucky if you get an apple, 3 pence and a fun sized mars bar. Unlike here where you can get a carrier bag full of penny sweets that can last you up to 5 months. One of my American friends was telling me how she still had Halloween candy at Easter!
4) Once we're done giving out candy, we're going to the 'High Ball'. The street where we're living currently is called High Street, and they're blocking off the road a few blocks up and are having an outdoors Masked Ball. You can only go in if you have a mask (or costume) and there's music, drinks, games, drink, DJ's, drink...did I mention drink? Haha. It's going to be like an outdoor club, from 8 until midnight. I think it's going to be so much fun and so interesting to see how it comes together, plus a chance to catch up with friends, if we can find them out of all the dressed up folk.
5) At 9'o'clock, it's our very good friend's fancy dress Halloween party. Over the years, she has built up quite a healthy reputation for throwing THE best parties! I've been to a few and they are so much fun. Loads of food and lots of drink, plus lots of fun and interesting people I've never met before. As it's Halloween, she'll be making a vat of 'Hairy Buffalo', which is a Halloween family tradition passed down through her family. It's basically a cocktail of the epic kind. It contains everything from Vodka, to strawberries, to KoolAid and the rest is a secret. Don't worry it's a very responsible party, there'll be no Frats (as I talked about in a previous review). I'll also be taking over some Pumpkin cakes that I've made, and are REALLY yummy, I'll have to add in the recipe as a review at a later date.
So, that's it really for my day...as well as all the other day to day bits and pieces I have to do. On my way to the supermarket yesterday, I took photos of all the houses that have been dressed up. It would seem that if your house doesn't have a pumpkin on your doorstep or a fake gravestone in your front garden, then you're the weird one!
Do you see what I mean about how America embraces Halloween? They even have Halloween M&Ms for goodness sake. If you can stay with friends in America for Halloween, I recommend it. I would also love to know if anyone in England knows of any towns that celebrate it in the same way.
Sadly I'll be back in England by the time Thanksgiving comes around, that's another holiday I'll be sad to miss.
Anyway...hope you all have a Spooktastic Halloween, and if you couldn't give a rats arse about Halloween, I hope you have a peaceful one with no trick or treaters (UK 'Trick or Treaters' are very different to ones over here, as I explained above).
One final word: 'WoooooooooOOOOOooooooo' (that was my ghost impression)
Thanks for reading :)
© MarcoG 2008
Today myself and my nine year old granddaughter have been planning our Halloween party. I wasn't planning on doing anything for Halloween as the event doesn't particuarly interest me, but the girls' are going to be staying with me Halloween night as their mum and dad are going away so I thought we might as well have a good one.
Me and my granddaughter have sat and meticulously planned how the evening is going to go, so I thought I'd share our plans with you to perhaps convince you to throw a small bash yourself.
Tomorrow I have been charged with going out and buying as many scary Halloween decorations as I can, my granddaughter very sweetly said we could use the leftover birthday party plates and cups to save money so for her thoughtfulness I intend to buy some special Halloween tableware. My daughter is off on a her own shopping trip to find my baby granddaughter a cute Halloween dress-up suit, and also something with a Halloween theme for the older girls'. I have no doubt that the nine year old will turn up in a pink and black frilly Witches costume as that is her standard Halloween dress, although the twelve year old thinks herself above fancy dress now so I suspect she'll arrive in a black outfit and try to pass it off!
The girls' are allowed to invite two friends each as I want this to be a nice cheerful party, and the last thing I need is for a house full of children tearing around. I'm not a killjoy, but this is a gathering and certainly not the party of the century! I am going to invite my sister and a couple of friends, all of whom will probably bring one grandchild so that's 10 children which is quite enough!
I nearly forgot, I need to buy Halloween invitations tomorrow!
I am going to let the older children go trick or treating in the early evening, just up and down my Lane and I will speak to my neighbours beforehand to let them know they are welcome to ignore the door when my lot arrive! While they're out me and my sister will be preparing the buffet. We're having a purely cold buffet, but I'm going to make a huge pot of soup for those who want it as it's supposed to be very cold on Friday.
My granddaughter has made a list of food she wants on the buffet and there would be enough to feed the 5000 if she got her way. I'll make it special as I enjoy preparing buffets; I have been thinking pizza, a selection of filled rolls, pork pie and all the usual party foods but with the addition of some of the more specialised Halloween treats I've seen available in the shops.
I am also going to make lots of different flavoured biscuits and cookies and decorate them with a spooky theme, nothing terribly difficult just a few icing sugar spiders and blood red butter cream. I have a set of Halloween cookie cutters which are shaped like ghosts, witches and pumpkins so I'll make use of those. I might even make a pot of tomato soup, ensuring it is as red and bloodlike as possible.
After we've eaten I have some good old fashioned party games planned. I'm going to make a pass the parcel, play musical statues and possibly pin the tail on the donkey. There will be small prizes, I remember seeing a bag of little Halloween novelty toys in one of the shops by me last week so I'll have to find that shop again and nip in to buy some treats as prizes.
At about 8 o'clock I'll put the baby to bed and then the scary movies can commence! I have several Halloween themed Scooby Doo DVDs which I'll play on a loop throughout the party, or if one of my granddaughters' can come up with some Halloween music then I'll play that instead. I'm tempted to put Halloween on as despite being young my granddaughters' love a good horror film, but the nine year old has some quite delicate friends so I shall have to see who turns up!
I absolutely love pumpkin soup and it freezes well, so I shall buy some pumpkins on Thursday and carve them into scary faces. I have some candles I can use to illuminate them and I think they'll look great in my porch.
If you'd like to carve a pumpkin but are put off by wasting the pumpkin flesh try this very simple pumpkin soup recipe that I found on BBC Food. This recipe is for one pumpkin, but it would be easy enough to double or even quadruple the recipe for the amount of pumpkins you wish to carve - just remember you need a freezer big enough for it all!
The flesh of one pumpkin, diced
2 gloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium red chilli, chopped finely
1 tin of coconut milk
Fresh coriander leaves
What you need to do:
Cook the small chunks of pumpkin in boiling water until tender.
Add the chilli, garlic and half the coriander to a blender and season well. Whizz this in the blender until it forms a paste.
When the pumpkin is soft drain the cooking water into jug and reserve. Add the pumpkin flesh to the chilli mix in the blender and blend all this together, take care not to over blend or you will end up with mushy pumpkin rather than the smooth vegetable paste you need for this soup.
Pour it all back into the saucepan, add the coconut milk and simmer adding a splash of the pumpkin cooking water if it becomes too thick, which it probably will.
To freeze simply pour portions of the soup into thick freezer bags and bung in the freezer once cold. You will need to unthaw the soup before reheating and I suggest doing this slowly in the fridge to retain the flavour of the soup.
Well, that is Halloween 2008 sorted out. I hope I have inspired some of you to take the plunge and hold a gathering, if not a party, and have fun! Now all I need to do is find a shop that sells Nanny style costumes and not sexy witches get-up!
It's time of year again folks, where it's time to brush off our ghost and witch's outfits, carve out the pumpkin, buy truck loads of sweets and wait in anticipation for kids's to come knocking at your door, chorusing the famous words 'Trick or Treat'.
Ok so it's not everyones cup of tea, but many of us have experienced dressing up at some point and going round the houses in the neighborhood, and getting excited when someone gives us sweets.
Growing up i used to love Halloween, dressing up with my friends, arguing over who is the most scary and best dressed.
We lived in a small village and the majority of people loved us coming round, however the local village council did give out poster's to those who didn't want disturbing, like the elderly, and they still do it today,which i think is a great idea as it's not nice to inflict upon people who don't want to celebrate the holiday.
Halloween was first thought upon, way back in 837, and is always celebrated on the 31st October.The name comes from 'all hallows eve' which is the eve of 'all hallows day' or as it's more commonly know today as ' All saints day'
Halloween imagery tends to involve death, magic, or mythical monsters. and traditional characters include ghosts, ghouls, witches, owls, crows, vultures, pumpkin-men, black cats, spiders, goblins, zombies, mummies, skeletons, and demons.
The main symbol of Halloween is the pumpkin, where the idea is that you carve out the inside, carve a face onto the side and place a lit candle so it glows, and is generally associated with harvest time.
When i grew to 'old' to go trick a treating i did continue to take my little sisters, we used to have a great time painting their faces, and seeing if mum had any old white sheets we could use,i thinks it's a great holiday for younger children to look forward to, but there's one thing that has become a growing problem that is ruining for the rest of us- gangs who think it's funny to stick a mask on and knock on every single door demanding sweets and money, these gangs are people aged between 15-19 which in theory is to old.Police forces are trying to tackle the problem, but lets face it who wants to be threatened simply because we don't have any sweets or money left?? Not me and the majority of the country.
Here comes Halloween time again. Witches,Dracula, and all sorts of scary goulish creatures are once again ready to knock at our doors.
You have to admit though,that it is fun.Every 31st October each year,a knock at the door.Opening it and looking down at all those little faces that are looking back up at you saying those magic words,"Trick or Treat" and holding out their hands.Giveing out sweets,chocolate,money or presents to them and watching their faces light up, can be such a treat in itself.
And there it is for a few hours,closing the door,waiting for it to knock again for more scary little creatures.I remember doing this myself as a child.Getting excited and dressing up.Walking around with my friends with a bag.Looking even more forward to getting that bag home and comparing how much you got.But it is not just for children,oh no...Us Adults have fun to.
Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, ghost tours, bonfires, costume parties, visiting haunted attractions, carving pumkins, reading scary stories and watching horror movies.
Halloween is celebrated in several countries of the Western world, most commonly in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom and occasionally in parts of Australia.
The carved pumpkin, lit by a candle inside, is one of Halloween's most prominent symbols in America, and is commonly called a jack-o-lantern.It has become a very common occurance in the uk now too.And you see them outside most doors.
So it is nearly that time again.Get ready for the spookies,and have fun ;)
I have always loved Halloween. When I was a child I always dressed up and went around with my friends and an adult around my village. It was nice to go round just my local area as everyone knew us and it was only 30 houses.
Nowadays I'm not sure if I would want to go out with all the teenagers of today about.
Now I have my own children we enjoy doing pumpkins, dressing up and what my Daughter loves most, answering the door and giving out sweets. We have loads of children come round as I now live in a town. I love having the kids knock on the door, that's why we put decorations up to welcome up.
However I feel sorry for old people, people with young children and people who don't celebrate Halloween as they still get knocked on by trick or treaters. I beleive you should only knock on peoples doors if they have decorations or it looks welcoming to trick or treaters. You can tell the people who aren't interested as they don't put their lights on or they have a sign saying no trick or treaters.
I do put a note on my door at about 8pm saying no more trick or treaters as we normally run out of sweets and I have to get my girls to sleep.
I do not like teenagers who come round not dressed up trying to get sweets for nothing, I can't actaully beleive the cheek of it!
I would love to take my girls to America and do it as they celebrate it bigger than Christmas.
Halloween is a famous holiday celebrated on October 31st. This is a bigger event in america but we do celebrate it. On Halloween the most common events to do is go "trick or treating", tell ghost stories, carving pumpkins, costume parties and even bomb fire parties as it is so close to bomb fine night.
Halloween is properly my favourite holiday we go over bored every year and celebrate this day doing all sort of activities. I always buy my children costumes. These are usually bought from George for about £10 each. I also like to get dressed up when we have a party. I think it is important for children to get creative at Halloween as its fun but it also encourages children to explore their imagination.
We have a children's Halloween party on the actual night. I love to get our home all decorated with bats hanging from the ceiling and cob webs everywhere. I like the idea of blacking out the walls with bin bags but I never manage to find the time to do this. My children like to carve pumpkins. I always make sure they are not left unattended.We also have a mixed compilation cd that we use at our party with various different spooky song like monster mash on etc. This just puts you in the Halloween spirit.
Our party has great food. I like to make a big chilli (one with quorn and one with beef as my partner is vegetarian) I like to make cakes and iced cob webs on them. We usually have various sweets and hot food. My favourite item on our Halloween table are marshmallow spiders these look great they are mad by doing the following...
You will need:-
* chocolate tea cakes (as many as you want to make)
* Small bar of milk chocolate
* sweets like smarties or jelly tots
* liquorice (I usually buy the wheels)
Total price will be about £4.
1. Melt a small amount of chocolate in the microwave for a few seconds making sure it doesn't burn.
2. Cut your liquorice into strips making 8.
3. Turn your tea cakes upside down. Using the melted chocolate attach the 8 strips of liquorice to the bottom using the melted chocolate making sure they are spread out to resemble the spiders legs.
4. Turn the tea cake the right way around and use the chocolate to put on two sweets to make the spiders eyes.
I then usually put my spiders on a foil tray which I have beforehand piped a web on using icing sugar. These are lovely and look really good, all children love them.
At our party we play a few games like bobbing for apples and we have a costume party so who ever looks the best gets a prize. After our party we then all go trick or treating. We only go for about 1 hr though as I think people get fed up as they have most properly already had several visitors already. They don't seem to mind how many treats they receive, they just like going out and showing off their costumes. I have found some people to be very rude and slam the doors in my Childs faces. I don't think there is any need for this and a simple "not to day thank you" would be much more appropriate. I like when children come to our house so I can look at their costumes. We always have a big bowl of mini chocolate bars by the front door for when they come.
I really like Halloween and find it great fun.
We won't be up to much this Halloween I don't no why but we never seem to do anything big for Halloween. I will be taking my daughters trick or treating for definite though they have little witches outfits that they are going to wear and will have a little pumpkin bag to collect there sweets in. I love going to the doors with them as they look so happy when they get given something. We don't really decorate the house I don't no why as when we walk around the estate and see how everyone else has decorated there houses etc I always think they look really good and have got in the spirit of things. You never no maybe this year I'll put some decorations up. I also always stock up on sweets for the children that come to our door as long as you can see they have made an effort I think they should be rewarded with something like sweets. I think over the years trick or treating has changed as last year we had quite a lot of teenagers knocking on our doors with just masks on and no costumes, I didn't really think it was right giving them sweets when they had hardly made an effort. The town where I used to live quite a lot of the older children found it fun to dress up on Halloween and rob the sweets of the younger children I think this just ruins the spirit of things.
I added this as a suggestion yesterday after noticing the Halloween 06 and 07 reviews. For the last three years I have had / organised and helped with a Halloween party at my house or my sisters. This year is no different although we haven't quite decided where to hold it yet!
I like to throw a Halloween party for all the children in the family (they are a great excuse aren't they!) Then a few family friends are invited to come along.
The first year I bought a lot of Halloween decorations from Party Land (the party shop that I think is owned by Birthdays but seems to always change its name!) and Poundland, spent a fair amount of money but most of the items have been used every year since - the only thing we haven't ever re used was the spiders in the web that you stretch out over a ceiling or doorway. I pick up a few things every year then and this year I have managed to find a party set with table cloth, napkins, plates and hats from Poundland for quite obviously £1!!
The food is usually just basic nibbles aimed at kids - I tend to use cookie cutter Halloween shapes and make sandwiches out of those. Pizza fingers, cakes and crisps. There are some great Halloween recipes you can find on the internet I have used to make some scary looking food - some worked great, witches fingers from nik nak style crisps, spiders web cakes. The only one that didn't work was a witches hand in jelly - it said to use one of those yellow kitchen gloves and it just didn't come out at all well!
I have out together some scary music cds and bought one a few years ago, but after a while the kids tend to change it to something more pop!
As for party games, have done find the scary lolly-pop hunt, mr skeleton's bone, pin the nose on the witch, pop the balloon and one year we bought a pinata - but you do need a fair amount of room for this one!
As some of the children are older this year we will get some sparklers and use them outside but its not something we have ever done before!
I do love Halloween - don't dress up - well usually put on a badge or head boppers! But for me it it is my date to have everything bought for Christmas and usually mark it as the end of the stress attached for Christmas and then try to enjoy the rest of the year! For the children it usually falls on half term so it gives them something to look forward to at the end of the week and help to decorate and make food for the party.