Halloween Holland Style

Have I ever mentioned that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year?

Outrageous costumes, pumpkins, witches, trick-or-treating, chocolate, candy corn, ringing doorbells, accumulating a candy haul of momentous proportions, little boys and girls proudly displaying their costumes, bobbing for apples, dried cornstalks, dressing up, jack-o-lanterns, deciding who you want to ‘be’, parties, ghosts, caramel apples, broomsticks, cold late October evenings, vampires, cobwebs, costume parties, witches’ brew, staying up late to count your candy haul…

Did I mention chocolate?

This is our third Halloween here in The Netherlands, and needless to say, I am excited!

We’ve been decorating the house, greeting trick-or-treaters and handing out candy for I don’t know how many years. So on our first Halloween here in Den Haag, I didn’t know what to expect.

But I am of the Kevin Costner/Field of Dreams mindset: ‘If you build it, they will come.’

Or rather, ‘if you buy the candy, they will come’.

I did, and they did. All four of them, two sets of neighbor’s children.

Last year, word had gotten around about the lone Americans on the block. Rather than barricade ourselves into our gezellig (cozy) family room, we were amenable not only to opening the door when the doorbell rang, but we were prepared. With candy. Which we were willing to give out. Imagine!

The grand tally on last year’s trick-or-treaters was a whopping sixteen. I still recognized the two groups of Dutch neighbors, but the others were a mix of Dutch and internationals. We didn’t know them, but they sure knew of us.

So this year I was thinking along the lines of twenty or so.

Then my neighbor stopped by. Seems that as the numbers grew of local internationals in general and Americans in particular, Halloween has taken off in various parts of Nederland. Okay, perhaps that’s an overstatement. But it’s definitely growing.

Anneke wanted to check to make sure we were intending on being home and giving out candy to trick-or-treaters.

Say what? Is the Pope Catholic? Does day follow night? Is Mount Everest the tallest mountain in the world?

Of course we would be celebrating Halloween. Natuurlijk!

Anneke explained that this year a group was getting together and going to a string of houses that would be giving out candy, and she wanted to make sure it was okay to stop by. With thirty kids.

Thirty kids.

Woohoo! We are having us a big ol’ traffic jam gaggle of trick-or-treaters tonight!!*

And on that note, I’ll leave you with a Halloween photo kindly provided by occasional guest blogger Gry Tina Tinde:

Frightened Woman Reading Russian-Norwegian Dictionary www.adventuresinexpatland.com

Tina Tinde Shows Her True Feelings About Learning Another Language


Image credit: Tiril Ligaya Tinde

Set Decoration: Gil Tinde





* Final tally was 93 trick-or-treaters! Seriously, our neighborhood was abuzz for more than two hours. I think the Dutchies are grooving on Halloween. I am so happy!


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