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After Halloween

Halloween was an annual disappointment for my girls. There is not much of trick-or-treating happening in our area. We had lighted jack’o’lanterns on the porch, and still only one single visit from neighborhood kids. Kimmy, all dressed up as a Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, decided that she did not want to go out for treats, once she learned that her school friend had fallen sick, and spent the evening moping.

The situation was not improved when I picked up Becky from a gathering with her friends before she had a chance to go trick-or-treating with them. We were ready to sit down for a family dinner at around 7:30, and Becky was out with her friends since 4, so I assumed that she already had her fun, and she got upset without telling me why until it was too late. Her mood improved a bit during the dinner, but Halloween being her most favorite holiday, she oscillated between sunny and dejected for most of the evening.

The dinner was otherwise a success, thanks to Natasha’s culinary talents. We toasted our anniversary several times and amused the children with stories from the early days of our happy union.

Since Becky returned from her school-trip to Iceland only that morning, she in turn entertained us with the recount of mayhem that only adolescent girls unencumbered with strict supervision can wreak. Her impressions of Iceland involved geysers, hot springs baths, black sand, and many waterfalls that all start looking the same after a while. And cold!… She made a couple of dozen of nice pictures on her camera – we’ll post them eventually.

I leave you today with my daughters in their Halloween outfits – all dressed up with nowhere to go, as it were.

[Update Nov 2nd]
There are some kid-related Halloween-themed activities organized here or there. They don’t normally happen on the 31st of October, though. So, today, Natasha took Kimmy to nearby Eltham Palace for such a celebration. Kimmy had a very good time and came back wearing this self-made hat:


  1. jason

    Hi, Ilya – I’ve not had a chance to catch up on your doings in a while. Looks like everything proceeds pretty normally. Good to hear. 🙂

    Anyhow, this post raises a question I’ve never really considered before: how is Halloween observed in England? Is it essentially the same as in the US? Or is it more of an American holiday to begin with? You did mention trick-or-treating, so I imagine there’s some similarity…

  2. Ilya

    Jason, Halloween celebrations – where they exist – are essentially the same as in the US. Pumpkins, hay-rides, dressing up, trick-or-treating, etc. But it is not a British “holiday”, and the biggest difference that we see is the scale. Some areas are more attuned to it than others, reputedly. I have not seen anything of the kind of American-scale celebrations myself, nor have I noticed much in terms of offices and shops paying heed to the occasion.

    In our development in NJ, every kid – all three hundred or so of them – was on street on the 31st, all in Halloween costumes, knocking on every door asking for treats. Every house – regardless of religious affiliation of the owners – would have a jack’o’lantern or a scarecrow or some other appropriate decorations in the front yard. In southeast London, as I drove the nearby streets on my way to pick up Becky, I saw maybe a handful of houses with any decorations and maybe a couple of dozen kids in outfits tentatively walking around. That’s the difference.

    Could be the area that we live in.

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