We’ve made it through our first Halloween in Norway. These past few weeks, I’ve been wondering how it was going to be because Norwegians have only celebrated All Hallows’ Eve for the past 15 or so years.
There’s a holiday near the Christmas season called husbukk where kids go around knocking on doors asking for treats, but it’s not the same.
Since my husband didn’t grow up trick or treating, when we lived in the US, he was ga-ga for all things Halloween and it quickly became his favorite holiday.
When we lived in the Chicago area, we used to go trick or treating in the late afternoon, hitting up a few houses. Then we’d spend most of our time trick or treating at the numerous businesses downtown, seeing all of our friends and their families and grabbing dinner at a nearby restaurant. And in Portland our neighborhood was teeming with little ghouls and goblins just like my childhood neighborhood. In both cities, there was a real sense of community that I love.
As part of moving to Norway, we got rid of all of our Halloween decorations, but since I’ve got more free time here, I find myself doing crafty things. (I know, clutch your pearls.) But we made some this year.
Logan wanted to be Captain Rex again and thankfully last year’s costume still fit. Ethan wanted to be Spiderman for the third year, but I did spring for a new costume. Just before leaving the house to collect candy, I was a bit sad because I wasn’t dressed up. Usually I toss on one of my colorful wigs or part of a costume from a previous party, but I got rid of all that before we moved.
As the kids were getting on their shoes, I whipped out their face paint and quickly drew on my face. It wasn’t spectacular, but I figured it was better than nothing.
When we first headed out, I was struck by how empty the streets were. Our neighborhood is very dense with houses and houses with kids, but we were the only ones on the street. After about 10 minutes we started to see more trick or treaters and we only knocked on the doors where jack-o-lanterns sat outside.
One of the moms in Logan’s class organized a party so that we all could go trick or treating together and then watch a movie at her place while eating the loot from the night. We were making our way to her house and since that part of the neighborhood has numerous duplexes, there were more families and more kids. The area had that familiar Halloween atmosphere: Giggling and growling huddles of short monsters, superheros, princesses and more going from house to house. These huddles were trailed by talking and laughing parents. We had that same sense of neighborhood community that I enjoy so much.
After the kids rang the doorbell, they’d chant: “Knask eller knep, eller bombeangrep!” That loosely translates into “trick or treat, or a bomb attack!” Lovely, right?
Norwegian candy is weird to me. It’s a lot of gummies (think swedish fish texture, but in various shapes and colors) and a ton of black licorice or black licorice-flavored treats. There’s also some candy with what can be described as “eucalyptus.” Blech. They do however love their chocolates, so that’s always nice. In this health-conscious country, people gave out only small bits of candy, and not all of it was wrapped in paper. (I had to chuck my American apprehensiveness at the door for that one.) But my favorite house handed out carrots and celery.
After we hit up about two dozen houses, we headed back to that one mom’s house where the kids went through their candy and watched Scooby Doo as the parents had coffee and snacks. That mom’s child gave Logan all of his Halloween candy. I was like, whaaa?? These Norwegians are definitely very nice.
Our Halloween was a different Halloween, but a great one nonetheless. How was yours?