Wednesday, 15 October 2014

My idea of hell

That's it, Halloween is just around the corner and I'm actually surprised Christmas hasn't hijacked the run-up to that ancestral tradition this year. But you know what? I actually don't celebrate Halloween.

I can already see the eye-rolling, jaw-dropping and all sorts of funny faces you're making while reading this. Yep, that's right. I don't give in the trick or treating, binge sweets eating or fancy dressing. 

What about the children? you must be thinking... Well, I've managed to escape the whole thing until now, mostly because they're still young, and the eldest wasn't asking for it, which made my life a lot easier. The fact that we live in an apartment block and nobody ever knocked at our door on Halloween helped a lot as well.

But why don't you celebrate Halloween? you may ask. Well, the truth is, it was never something I grew up with. As a child, the only times I dressed up was for Mardi-Gras (which happens on Pancake Tuesday, and we eat pancakes another day - go figure...) which is when we parade on the street but we don't go begging for sweets and chocolate.

Halloween is pretty much a commercial affair in France anyway, and is quite recent, around 15 years old only. The only time I celebrated it was in college, but let's be honest, any occasion to get drunk was good enough.

Being from a celtic region, and therefore connected to pagan traditions, maybe more than in other parts of France, you would think that I'd be interested, but for some reason, I never really got into it.

Back home, we celebrate All Saints day, which falls on the 1st of November. We would go to mass first and then to the cemetery, leave flowers on the graves and remember our dead. In my family, it's also the occasion to catch up with cousins, uncles and aunts for an afternoon coffee. I am lucky in a way, as I haven't experienced many losses over the years, but on the 1st of November, I always have a thought for the people I knew who passed away. 

I guess it's all a matter of being brought up in another tradition. I could have embraced Halloween since I came to Ireland, but even though I understand and accept that it's different than in France, it's just something I'm not into. We can't like everything, can't we?

Anyway, this year might be a bit different, as Fabrice and a couple of friends have unanimously decided -without me of course-, that we would celebrate Halloween, dress up and go trick or treating with the kids. Knocking on strangers' door, dressed up as a witch is kind of my idea of hell, so I don't know how I'm gonna cope. Who knows, I may have fun in the process...

My only hope? I think they didn't realise it's on a Friday, so we will all be working, and I might get another free year (until next time...)