Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I love to play dress up and I love candy, so it is a natural fit. I appreciate Halloween because it doesn’t play into any highfalutin messages about making the world a better place, or loving your fellow man. Halloween doesn’t ask you to be a better person for a month and then go back to your evil ways. It doesn’t tell you that baby Jesus is cool and you should celebrate his birthday or tell you to go kill a turkey in order to be grateful for what you have. No. Halloween asks only a simple thing from you: Have fun.
Being in Prague for Halloween has always been a little different. First and foremost, they don’t celebrate it here. Not really. Kids don’t go trick or treating here and you will be hard pressed to find a little family of Jack O’ Lanterns burning brightly on someones porch – unless that someone is an expat. The expat community here bands together at this time of year to bring Halloween traditions overseas. There are drunkin’ parties to go to, monster mashes and the streets are lined with slutty cats, nurses and fairies – just like at home.
This was my second year teaching preschool in Prague at Halloween time. It’s always a blast to see the little people in their makeshift costumes knocking on doors asking for candy. Or, in the case of my preschool, knocking on the neighboring businesses doors which just so happen to be a Vet and a Dentist. My boss supplies them with candy and the kids run in and scream at them. It’s actually pretty awesome. It brings a little smile to my face knowing that I helped a little kid find the joy of Halloween. These kids don’t have the Target commercials asking them what they will be. They don’t have isles of Halloween candy begging to be eaten. They don’t have Halloween. But, the kids at my school do. Or at least a little version of it. They get some sweets, a mask and they have fun. And that’s all that really matters.