A bit late to talk about Halloween perhaps, but what the hell…
On November 3, we had a Halloween party. We really went to town, fixing pumpkins and food and spooky decoration and so forth. And people came and it was very nice indeed (once the 2-year olds had been properly sedated).
Very few people, however, dressed up. It even said on the invitation “Costume recommended”. But in Sweden, Halloween is a new and strange tradition, and they really don’t have all the rules straight just yet.
Figure 1: A Golden Ticket
One thing is the date. In Sweden a lot of holidays are shifted to the next available weekend. I’m not sure why, they just are; it’s like having Easter five times a year. And here begins the confusion. All Saints Day is an important holiday here – kind of like a Dia de los Muertos, Swedish style. And this is always shifted forward to the next weekend. And because Halloween occurs on the day before, the Swedes just assume it follows the same rule and therefore is pushed to the next available Friday or Saturday.
Wrong!!! Even a casual look at an American TV show will confirm this – Halloween is October 31, and only October 31. It does not run about and sit on command like a trained puppy. Maybe in Sweden the date of your holiday is not important, but if you are going to borrow a tradition then please learn the fucking rules! I have even seen St. Patrick’s day – a very important and STATIC holiday – moved to the next Friday by some so-called “Irish” bars in Stockholm – practically a crime against humanity!
Anyway…during the party a kid called to the door doing a “trick or treat”. Now this was, you will remember, November 3rd, but fair enough, I’ll play along. The problem was the kid was just a kid – no monster could be seen. He did not even have fake teeth or a cheesy hat – just a regular sour Swedish kid, in a padded jacket and woolly cap, with his open hand sticking out. I reluctantly gave him an item of sweets and he frowned and said: “One for my brother too.” Shocked by his rudeness, I gave him one for his invisible brother too and off he went to harass the people next door.
Because I was a bit tipsy, I let it pass, but if one more un-costumed kid calls to my door around Halloween time and asks for something, he will get the following reply: “No effort, no goodies, kid – get out of here and learn the fucking rules. And if you push anything smelly though my letterbox as your little ‘trick’ then I will track you down, come home to you and place your willy in a sandwich toaster.”
<insert evil laugh here>