Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween: a new tradition

Halloween is fairly new to Australia. We didn't celebrate it growing up. I never even knew when it was. It was just an exotic holiday celebrated in the movies and TV shows from that faraway, exciting land, America.

In the last couple of years we've had the occasional groups of trick-or-treaters (whose needs have been accommodated by rummaging around in the pantry for something vaguely appropriate) and it has made a big appearance in the shops with lots of Halloween-themed things now available.

There are mixed feelings about it here - not everyone wants to embrace this fairly foreign concept as a new celebration - and personally, I'm trying to dodge the sugary treats aspect of it (Easter, Christmas and birthdays are overwhelming enough!).

But one thing our family is happy to incorporate is the carving of a pumpkin into a Jack-o'-lantern. The kids are very taken by the idea of carving a face into a pumpkin and they find the idea of lighting it from within completely magical.

My watercolour painting of our odd-coloured pumpkin in my sketchbook.

This is only the second year we have done it and the kids were riveted. Kim and Miss P designed the face and JJ protectively watched over the contents of the scooped-out pumpkin, declaring every now and again, 'Pumpkin soup! Yummy in the tummy!'

Not sure if we'll have any groups call around tonight for chocolates (I bought a bag, just in case) but our kids will enjoy watching the flickering flame inside a Jack-o'-lantern they helped create.