30 October, 2011

All Hallows Eve

My daughter in costume (?)
I have experienced Halloween in the USA, France and Italy. Such different observances! I believe the Halloween goodies and accouterments are brought out here in mid-August and mash in with the back to school necessities.  Parents will buy expensive, elaborate costumes from catalogs or dedicated Halloween stores, some warehouse-sized.  Some will hand down costumes from older siblings, and some are actually creative and make their own. The magazine covers are slathered with everything to make a festive season. Some schools are engulfed in waves of sugar-laden goodies.

In France, my first and second year college students of 2003 were very curious about " 'Alloween" as it was not yet widely celebrated there, and the holy day that follows, All Souls (or Saints) Day was lost to them.  Now Halloween candy comes out with the Christmas papillots at Monoprix, mixing secular and religious metephors and holidays.

Our Mantle

In Italy, in Riomaggiori, three lonely trick-or-treaters scaled the steep street, stopping at doors. My daughter, a devotée of Halloween, had brought a modest pink hair extension to wear to dinner to keep her tradition alive.

This year on Cape Cod, I have seen much made of the literary traditions of hauntings and the paranormal.  There was a screening of Nosferatu with a live orchestra. There is more to come!

My son has been ill for several days with a virus I'd never heard of before and missed many Halloween activities, but he decorated and we made les sablés (sugar cookies).  We always toast the pumpkin seeds after carving the jack-o-lanterns, too. Just clean, rinse, dry, oil a rimmed cookie sheets and the seeds and liberally sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 400 degrees (f) stirring often. They burn quickly! Munch a bunch.
However you do, or don't, celebrate the haunting, enjoy tomorrow night, and keep your black cat indoors. Mine has double paws, to boot.
Pearly, a very large, many toed cat