Sweden can’t quite make up its mind about Halloween. I’m told there was a period of time in the mid-1990’s when the holiday appeared to be taking off, but interest has waned significantly since then. I think it’s because Swedes pretty much refuse to commit to celebrating it on the right date.
The conflict has to do with All Saints Day, which is widely observed here … but in the Swedish manner, which involves moving it to the Saturday of the week that the actual holiday (Nov. 1st) falls in. Of course the reason Halloween is on Oct. 31 is because that date is the eve of All Saints Day. But since they move All Saints Day, I suppose most Swedes think it’s logical for Halloween to move with it, which just confuses the hell out of everybody.
Consequently, we never know when trick-or-treaters are going to show up…but 6 times out of 7 it’s NOT on October 31st, so we were caught somewhat off guard when the doorbell rang earlier this evening. Dr. Darling took a head count through the peephole while I rummaged around the kitchen in a panic looking for appropriate treats. By the time I got to the door they were already heading for the elevator.
There were five costumed kids in total but it seemed the older ones were merely escorting the two candy collectors, who looked to be about 4 or 5 years old, tops. Initially I thought I’d startled them by the delay in answering the door, because the two little ones had rather stunned looks on their faces when I asked them (in Swedish, of course), “What do you say on Halloween?”
The little girl answered, “Thank you?” (Which made me laugh.) The little boy couldn’t seem to get his mouth to work, so I gave them each a miniature Twix from our chocolate stash and wished them a Happy Halloween.
It wasn’t until after I got back inside and walked past a mirror that I realized why the little ones seemed so paralyzed during our brief exchange.
Shazz: Oh. my. god.
Dr. Darling: What’s the matter?
Shazz: I think I just accidently scared the crap out of our trick-or-treaters by answering the door without my prosthetic eye and no eye-patch.