|Mr Jack O'Lantern staring from behind the bars of our porch railing|
The eve before the Feast of All Hallows (now All Saints) Day has become a unique fun night, with kids in their costumes trick-or-treating their neighbors and hauling in bags full of sweets. Well, let's just say some kids are trick-or-treating because others are not. I am pretty sure kids in Burma don't do it, nor do kids in Iran, Libya and certain conservative Christian neighborhoods in the US.
Nor Kingston Beach, regrettably.
They were doing it in Sydney by the time we left. At first Lily and a couple of her friends were among the few who door-knocked in fancy dress, but five years later there were good, solid numbers of kids who had caught on that all you had to do was put on a funny face and you could get enough candy to stay awake until Christmas.
And we loved it. Cute kids, scary costumes and all we had to do was open the door and hand them a miniature Snickers bar. No turkeys to cook, no presents to wrap. Just buy enough bags of candy to keep the goblins happy and enjoy yourself.
But we have apparently lost our Halloween in Oz now that we've moved here. It's not like LK didn't try her best to get the neighborhood in the mood. She carved a great jack o'lantern and with his gap-toothed grin he stared at the neighbors from behind the bars of the porch railing, virtually begging them to knock on the door and demand one of the dozens of treats we had optimistically bought for the big night.
Oh well, we can't expect every holiday from our youth to translate into Strine. It's just that we more or less hoped this fun one would have made it. Our expectations rose here in Tassie when the local grocery stores started selling American-type pumpkins for carving (the "flesh" of the Aussie kind are too thick to carve).
But perhaps we could have figured that they really hadn't quite mastered all the details when they cut the stems off the top so you couldn't easily lift the "lid" you carve in order to light the candle. LK solved the problem with a stroke of Halloween ingenuity. Like Dr Frankenstein himself, she held her creation together with your standard bolt and not quite so standard wing-nut. Now she just has to be as creative figuring out what to do with 47 miniature Snickers bars.