Halloween has always been one of those holidays that is claimed by all; from the ancient Celts' Samhain to the Romans' Feralia to the modern Catholics' All Saints Day. Though all have tried the re-naming and re-purposing of this historic celebration, no one, until the Dutch, have tried to switch it to a more convenient day.
This year, October 31st has fallen on a Sunday.
Apparently, Sunday does not work for the Dutch so, they changed it to Saturday... without telling me. I am not just talking about bar theme nights or house parties, I am talking about the short, costumed candy-beggars running around ringing doorbells with huge expectations of sweets and praise! Here in The Netherlands, the costumed children did their door-to-door, trick-or-treating thing last night on Saturday, October 30th!
That was unexpected.
Thanks to Liam, who noted this bizarre activity while on his way to one of the above mentioned parties, we were warned to hide inside and turn out the lights, the only truly practical solution:
"Hey Ma.... just to let you know.... I have seen a bunch of gangs of dressed up kids.... weird.... you may want to turn off the lights or something because I'm pretty sure there is no candy in the house."
So, last night we hid in the darkened livingroom and watched TV to pass the time until the the mislead youth returned home and tonight, true Halloween, we sit in total peace with lit candles in the windows to guide the lost souls on this true night where the boundaries between the living and dead are blurred for a short time.
And, important as well, here is what we found in the local Aussie/Brit store....
The cider is pretty good, the beer has a cool label.
To all of you, Happy Halloween!
Coming soon... how the Dutch expect Santa Claus (Sinterklaus) three weeks early.