Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Every country has its own traditions and cultures, and none is as uniquely American as the tradition of Halloween and trick or treating. This year, the US spent $6.5 billion on candy, costumes and decorations for Halloween. The Visiting Scholars across Vermont got to enjoy the traditions of pumpkin carvings, candy corn, and haunted houses. Read the reflection by Crystal Chen as she comments on a Vermont Halloween:

Every year, Americans celebrate Halloween on October 31st. On this day, young people wear masks and costumes. Boys and girls dress as witches, ghosts and other characters. Children like to wear their costumes to school, where there is often a special party. Adults may wear something orange and black, the traditional colors for the special day. I bet pumpkin socks sell well during this period.

At C.P.Smith School, I celebrated my first Halloween with the 2nd graders. A mini-party was held after lunch in the classroom. Mrs. Pallutto (a class teacher) prepared a lot of things such as cake, cookies, fruit and juice so that each kid could have their own plate of food. We said "Happy Halloween" to each other and started to enjoy the food. Music was turned on and a story about Halloween was read by Mrs. Pallutto. Later on, a boy named Rory gave every kid a pumpkin pencil as a Halloween gift. In addition, they each got a toothbrush from a girl in another 2nd grade classroom, because her mother is a dentist. Kids had much fun at school. I received a pumpkin painting from Nash, a lovely little boy.

In the evening, families put their jack-o'-lanterns in front of their houses with a candle inside and leave dim lights on in the house. Children of all ages wear their costumes and carry bags to their neighbors' houses. They knock, and when the neighbor opens the door, they shout, "Trick or treat!" Then the neighbor puts fruits or candy in the kids' bags.

There is no doubt that the Halloween evening belongs to kids and teenagers because they can collect a heavy bag of candy that night and indulge themselves in enjoying a variety of candy for several days with their parents' permission. But remember to brush your teeth carefully after eating candy, and try to control your appetite as too much candy can really do harm to your body.

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