So I was curious what would Halloween be like this year living in Sweden. It was actually great… much less commercialism around the Holiday, just a few signs here and there.
On Drottninggatan I saw the sign snow above in tribute to the holiday!
Then Lena picked up the PERFECT pumpkin for carving and instead of going at it myself with a knife, I decided to share and let Lena carve her first pumpkin! It was awesome to share that experience with her. How to cut the lid and add a smoke notch. Scooping out the goop… saving the seeds to roast mmmm (they turned out good). Finally designing the face. I thought as it is the first one, how about we do a classic happy Jack-o-lantern. Lena did a wonderful job carving the design and then we tested it with a tea light. Perfect!!!
So, next thing on the list… candy shopping. Well Fun size was not very apparent in Sweden this time of year, so I picked up which ever candy I could find that was sold with individually wrapped pieces… perhaps a bit small for fun size, but all tasty! I also picked up a spider web for the door! And… the cutest little black pale that says GODIS, or swedish for Candy!
Oct 31st finally rolls around and naturally I have choir(Kör) that night, so before I left, I put a tea light in the pumpkin, covered the door with the spider web, put out my pail of GODIS and left a note saying Trick-or-Treat! Take one or two pieces of candy! From your USA neighbor.
When I came home that night, the pail was no longer over flowing! Yay!
But wait… there is more
Thursday, Nov 1st I hosted another one of our KI International Coffee Hours on campus after class. This was Halloween themed. The activity was to name 5 bones in the body for a free Fika! We also had extra candy to eat (my halloween leftovers) plus more snacks and I even brought the spider web in for extra action.
Then (eller sen)…
So I was home alone Friday night. After some food shopping on my way into the house I decided to light the pumpkin… it just felt right. So as while I was upstairs starting to cook, the doorbell range… hmm I thought. (Always a little awkward with phones and doorbells given my poor Swedish, I do not answer the house phone because I think I would just confuse people). Anyway, I came down the stairs and even though I had pulled the shade down on the back door so that only a few inches of window were showing… I saw some ghost eyes peeking in. TRICK-OR-TREATERS! AHHH I had given most of my candy away at the coffee hour yesterday. So I awkwardly opened the door they said something to me in Swedish. I only heard GODIS, and was like hmmm strange mute USA person as I put one sad piece of candy into each of their bags and then we all stared at each other for a couple seconds because I think I was supposed to say something, but all the swedish ran out of my head and in that moment I could hear them saying things in their heads like she is weird and only one lousy piece! But then they said Tack så mycket and I said varsågod. I would have given them more, but after the surprise Nov 2nd Trick-or-treaters I wondered ARE MORE COMING… well no not that night
BUT… Saturday or Swedish All Saints Day, I went to the market and picked up MER GODIS! yes! AND the family was home and we lit the pumpkin again. And what do you know… MER BARN! The doorbell rang twice. And the second time we had a witch, a zombie and a little princess. I told them they could have two or three pieces… in Swedish and it was AWESOME! So glad I picked up more Candy!
Later we walked up to the graveyard (Kyrkogård) in Sollentuna, next to Sollentuna Kyrka. They light candles at the graves to remember their loved ones. It was a special experience seeing all the lights in the darkness and remembering my own loved ones. Expecially my Mormor (Mother’s Mother) och Morfar (Mother’s Father) who passed this year. In the US graveyards generally seemed like scary, sad, desolate places. With Arlington being an exception. In Sweden, they are very well maintained and you can see the love and care that goes into them. They are beautiful places to walk and feel so filled with love. It is quite a different experience for me. Our walk was beautiful and I love seeing all the old and new Swedish names!
Jag hoppas att alla hade en glad halloween och en väckra allhelgonadag!