Wednesday, October 27, 2010
When I asked Annike if she wanted to visit the place where they grow pumpkins so we could buy one and take it home to put a face on it, she looked at me like I was crazy. Who can blame her?
Why do we carve pumpkins, anyway? Upon research, it seems we have graduated to pumpkins, from the former tradition of carving turnips and potatoes. This is fortunate for those of us who are challenged by our fine motor skills. I am also not sure how they ever fit a candle into a turnip... In any case, from everything I have read it seems there is no single, clear origin to Halloween. Here in America, like most things American, we merged all different types of celebrations... from pagan to religious, Catholic to Protestant, Irish to Roman, from New Year (yes, it was formerly the Celtic New Year celebration) to Harvest, from warding off ghosts to welcoming saints. In the end, the traditional celebration we are left with is somewhat confusing to me - tell me again, what are we actually celebrating?
Apparently, in the late 1800s there was a move in America to change Halloween into a holiday centered more around the community and neighborly get-togethers, than about ghosts, pranks, and witchcraft (www.history.com). Someone forgot to tell downtown Santa Cruz.
Trick-or-treating was revived in the 30s or 40s as an inexpensive way for the entire community to celebrate. While I do not delude myself into thinking that everyone treats Halloween as a community bonding experience, our family truly does join in simply for the joy of togetherness. It is one more opportunity to bond as a family over pumpkin carvings, and to create memories with friends while laughing at ourselves in costume. And what better way is there to meet your neighbors than knocking on their door in a funny outfit? Of course, they may not ever recognize you without that silly hat... but I like the idea that in some cases we can celebrate togetherness itself.
If you are interested in my more serious opinion of Halloween, you can see Halloween from last year.
In the spirit of togetherness, we set out to pick our pumpkin in between rain showers. The mud is all part of the fun! The camera can't quite capture the squeals of delight released as Annike stomped around, saying over and over, "So many pumpkins!"
I'll take this one... it's just my size.
Time to say good-bye to the pumpkin patch and take mini-"Cimbrella" (as Annike has dubbed her) away in her pumpkin-turned coach.
Back home to carve them up. Even Papa got into it and designed a very special kitty pumpkin for Annike.
She likes it!
Coming up next: Annike's costume! That is, if I can get her to wear it...