But for the number of pumpkins for sale everywhere, I would have forgotten it was Halloween.
I have this theory that if you didn’t celebrate whatever tradition when you were young, it’s hard to get into the mood later on in life. I have sweet memories of Christmas with all my family in France and used to take that holiday seriously. On the other side, Feng doesn’t care as much about it because he didn’t celebrate it as a kid in China. However he remembers the craziness of Chinese New Year in China, something I can’t really imagine.
Similarly, I don’t get Halloween. Even though some of the earliest Halloween traditions started in Europe, we didn’t celebrate it at all when I was a kid in France. It was primarily a North American tradition we knew about because of the U.S. horror movies. But about 15 years ago, Halloween saw a resurgence in popularity in France with the help of a huge marketing campaign led by major American companies such as McDonalds’, Eurodisney and Coke.
That said, kids don’t usually go trick-or-treating, especially in big cities. Halloween is mostly celebrated in bars and restaurants, with themed parties and a lot of booze.
The way North American celebrate anything that is worth celebrating—Christmas, Chinese New Year, Halloween, Easter, National Days etc.—both amazes me and annoys me. On one hand, I admire the way people get into the mood. They don’t do things by halves: houses are decorated, candies are bought in astronomic quantities and themed merchandises and food are sold everywhere. But I can’t help thinking we overdo everything. Halloween merchandises are on display in stores right after the back-to-school frenzy, and fir trees and happy Santa Claus replace them as soon as the pumpkins are gone. Then it will be Boxing Day, Valentines’ Day, Easter… and next thing you know, it will be Christmas again.
On Saturday night, we got a little reminder that winter was on the way: the first snow storm of the year. We were out at the movies and it took us by surprise. We drove home slowly, confused and cold. Can it ally be winter? I keep on thinking summer is coming back anytime now…