Thursday, October 31, 2013

Booooooo! It is All Hallow's Eve!

Well, it is almost All Hallow's Eve. This evening I plan to take a walk in our neighborhood at the Beltway Apartment to see how many Dutch neighbors have now taken up the Halloween tradition. 

When I emigrated from the US to The Netherlands back in 1979, there were only a few of us Americans here who "celebrated" Halloween. Finding a pumpkin suitable for carving a jack o'lantern was a challenge and expensive. 

At that time in Europe, slices of pumpkin flesh for making pumpkin soup were sold at the vegetable market. Most vendors did not sell whole pumpkins and couldn't even determine the price for one. I think I paid 35 guilders (around 15-20 US dollars) for our first carvable pumpkin in the mid-1980's. And it rolled around so much in the back of our station wagon that our then toddler son kept screaming for me to stop hurting the pumpkin.

Then we moved to an old Dutch farmhouse with a veggie garden and planted our own pumpkins. We had award winning size pumpkins then. Our son and I took a few to his school for their Halloween celebrations when he was in the 1st grade. In the years that followed, we shared pumpkins, gourds, and winter squash with friends and teachers.

As if pumpkins and winter squash had been " recently discovered" in the 1990's they began to appear in Dutch roadside veggie stands, the huge garden centers, and grocery stores. Prices for pumpkins are still much too high, but at least affordable for carving and making pumpkin dishes.

At any rate, I wonder how many goblins I will see on my walk tonight?

And what about "trick or treating"?

1 comment:

Paulette said...

Happy Halloween. I enjoy seeing all the children out in their costumes, and I don't even mind the kids that are to old for Trick or Treating knocking on my door. So this evening my porch light will be turned on and I will be waiting for all of the ghosts and goblins to yell Trick or Treat.