Halloween headcount

It’s been a cool and grey day in Daglan, with a few periods of heavy rain. That was pretty much perfect for La Toussaint, or All Saints’ Day. As expected, the large parking lot near the village cemetery was completely packed this morning, as families paid their respects (with chrysanthemums, of course) to loved ones who have passed away.

But enough gloom. Let’s reflect back on last night, and see how Halloween went over.

You’ll remember from a previous posting that, despite our best efforts, my wife and I had been forced to accept potirons (a winter squash) instead of pumpkins for carving. We had bought a large one for ourselves, and were somewhat surprised when we were given a Hungarian blue variety. In any case, I persevered, and wound up with this:


Meet Jack, the Blue Hungarian.

Last night we put Jack out on the front steps, with a candle burning inside, and turned on the exterior light so that young trick-or-treaters would know that we were open for business.

But just before dark fell, we visited with our English friends in their holiday home near our house, and saw how their children had been transforming the smaller potirons we had given them. The cutting wasn’t easy, because those potiron shells are tough, but the kids had definitely made progress. Here is their son’s version, which he proudly made all by himself:

Potiron 1

A pretty fierce looking face, wouldn’t you say?

As for their daughter’s version, she did the design, while I helped out with the carving. And I think it turned out quite well. (In fact, she liked it so much that she carried it around with her while trick-or-treating, held up by a string handle.) Have a look:

Potiron 2

A nice touch, I think, are the ears (horns?) made of lavender sprigs.

As a final head shot, here’s what I looked like last night as I was handing out candies (individually wrapped chocolate bars, and individually wrapped chocolate-covered cookies) to the trick-or-treaters at our front door:


The happy man with the orange face: Me.

And now for the kids. The first lot showed up early, as the youngest usually do, just after 5:30 p.m. The bulk of the visits were done by 7:45, and things went quiet. Finally,  four girls showed up at 9:45 or so, and were lucky that we had any candies left at all.

Total headcount: 23, which I think is pretty respectable in  a small French village without a long Halloween tradition. But then as I often say, the fun never stops in Daglan.

This entry was posted in Holidays in France, Life in southwest France, Weather in the Dordogne and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Halloween headcount

  1. Double D says:

    I think we had about the same number. Not sure what has happened in recent years but there are several houses without any lights on around us so perhaps kids are assessing the potential of the street and going elsewhere. Perhaps we did not look like we were open for business as we did not have a pumpkin or a melon out front.

  2. loren24250 says:

    Interesting, Double D. That’s a very low “participation rate.” In fact, I’ve just calculated (based on the populations of Daglan and Toronto) that if you had had the same participation rate of trick-or-treaters as we did last night, you would have had to provide candies to 112,424 kids.

  3. Keithster says:

    We were close at 200 – 300. I think we were down from last year as the huge display setup on the neighbouring street was not on this year. That and the less than great weather may have contributed.

  4. So much fun – love the photos, and the story of the Hungarian Blue. Head count in High Park – about 15. VERY disappointing – but I’ll tell you, those kids left with a LOT of candy… 😀

  5. loren24250 says:

    Keithster, that definitely seems more like it. As for High Park, Mike, that’s very strange — I would have thought that there would be a lot of kids in your area. Ah well…maybe next year!

  6. Lesley says:

    A small crowd of a dozen made it up our steps and were suitably rewarded for dressing up and braving the foreigners house! I would add that the size of the baskets/bags/pockets appear to be increasing along with the handfuls of bonbons grabbed. Fortunately none of them had any idea of what a ‘trick’ was and these days I suppose that a waterpistol spray may constitute abuse.
    We had a few sweeties left – just enough to ruin the diet…

  7. loren24250 says:

    Very nice, Lesley! You’re right about the bonbons — that was the word I heard most at our front door!

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