Every year on October 31st Americans, both young and old, partake in the fun filled festivities that are characteristic of Halloween. We dress up in creative costumes and enjoy traditional activities like bobbing for apples and, of course, trick-or-treating. For 19 years, I have enjoyed said holiday and knew nothing different. Before studying abroad, I tried to prepare myself for the differences that I would encounter while living in Greece. I knew I would be using different currency, I would be missing fall in New England and my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. However, for some reason, the lack of Halloween just did not register in my mind.
As a group, I think we were all a little bummed that we would be missing out on Halloween. We would miss dressing up with our friends and going out and causing a little mayhem. So we decided that we should bring a little bit of Halloween to Greece. I have to say that I am extremely impressed with the creativity of our group. Using things we already had and a few extra supplies we were all able to fashion fun and imaginative costumes. Within our group we had a cat, a dog, a couple of witches, a Greek goddess, a pirate, a couple of aerobic instructors and I was a pumpkin. Well, to be more specific I was a jack-o-lantern. As we wandered through the city, we wished everyone on the street a happy Halloween. We saw many children walking through the streets with their parents like it was any other day. It made me a little sad that none of them were in costumes trying to collect candy, but even that could not put a damper on my mood.
We made our way to the local Irish pub. We thought that might be a place where we could find other people who were celebrating Halloween. We were right. There were a few other groups of young college students who were doing the exact same thing we were. I don’t mean to brag, however, our group had the best costumes by far. We spent the night indulging in Irish car bombs and chatting with other students into the wee hours of the morning. At home, Halloween is an event. Here it felt like any other Friday night out except for the fact that I had a face taped to my torso and a stem coming out of my headband.