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Old 21.10.2011, 13:13
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Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

Due to the increased amount of incidents that have occurred in past years in the name of Halloween, some involving insurance claims, this year police are being pro-active and approaching youths in the week leading up to Halloween, about their intended actions.

There has been dispute about this, as police are already thinly resourced.

Parents have been asked to watch for any signs of what their children are planning. For example, if they come home with eggs, they are to be given a firm talking to...

Our neighbour doesn't send her kids out "trick or treating" as she says she doesn't believe in begging. Other neighbours (also with children) hang signs on the door saying "trick or treat free zone". The 1st November, All Saints Day, is of course a sacred day in our catholic area.

More, for todays German reading material here.

Is Halloween party-time for you? Or trick-or-treat for the kids? Or just another Americanization, not to be celebrated in our adopted home?
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Old 21.10.2011, 13:45
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

If the parents don't tell the children what the meaning of the celebration is, the kids just take all the freedom to push the boundaries of behaviour they can get. A celebration forced into homes by the marketing industry, it can only go wrong.
But I don't blame the Americans for that, because in American homes anywhere in the world, it does make sense. The ones to blame are the supermarkets in Europe. They needed a marketing idea between school return in september and christmas in december. It's just about profit making. No wonder the kids get cynical too. They didn't get the original meaning of the celebration, but they understood perfectly the meaning it actually has here : to defalcate, deviate and misuse any means to get a personal profit from it. Well done, kids.
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Old 21.10.2011, 13:49
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

Party timeeeeeeee


I loved it in my college years in the USA . 3 days where it is completely acceptable for girls to wear slutty outfits or come in their undies.

I love Halloween and wish it was more practiced here in Europe....

Once I have kids it will be trick or treating.
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Old 21.10.2011, 13:53
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

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3 days where it is completely acceptable for girls to wear slutty outfits or .......come in their undies.


ambiguity is a bitch sometimes
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Old 21.10.2011, 13:56
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

Since I'm glaringly American it seems that the neighborhood kids have come to expect me to have the candy bowl at the ready on Halloween night - and I try not to disappoint.

Halloween is indeed rather frowned upon here: it's not Swiss, it's disrespectful, it's an infringement on a quiet evening, etc. I certainly understand resistance to an 'imported' cultural event.

But the neighborhood kids - none of whom are American - seem to be into it nonetheless. If the kids want it, if they can trick-or-treat without bothering those who do not wish to participate, why not?

Shame that some youngsters are picking up on the 'trick'/vandalism aspect, though. So far in 13 years here I've only seen lighthearted, harmless fun - and lord knows the kids need more of that. Hopefully it will stay harmless.

I've tried to explain the Halloween code to the neighobors: Porch light on, trick-or-treaters welcome. Porch light off, steer clear. That seems to work well.

Most of the trick-or-treaters are young - toddlers to 10 year olds, often accompanied by parents. I love seeing the kids all dressed up. I love how they are so shy, yet so proud of their costumes.

(Although I'll admit I was taken somewhat aback at the first ghost appearing at my door. Apparently, here a ghost wears a white robe and pointy hood. A 'lost in translation' moment. )
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Old 21.10.2011, 14:00
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

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(Although I'll admit I was taken somewhat aback at the first ghost appearing at my door. Apparently, here a ghost wears a white robe and pointy hood. A 'lost in translation' moment. )
Maybe we should extend the code:

Cross burning = pointed white hats welcome.

Cross not burning = stay clear

Remember the South Park episode?
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Old 21.10.2011, 14:01
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

Halloween is not just an American tradition. It dates back to the Celtic Samhain festival which was first written about in the 10th Century. The word Halloween itself is a 16th Centrury Scots word derived from "All Hallows Even". The tradition of Trick or Treat started in Scotland where we know it as Guising (meaning to go in disguise) back in 1895 and this was based on an even earlier tradition to celebrate All Saints Day.
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Old 21.10.2011, 14:41
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

Halloween can be harmless fun, it can be done well. Trick and treat is fine for little kids but not teenagers in my book. And parties with ambiguous undies are fine for adults, as long as I don't have to arrive as a pumpkin.
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Old 21.10.2011, 14:45
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

We did it a couple of years ago, gave out sweets but still got eggs pelted at all the windows (which took a long time to clean).

So, for us, it's shutters down.
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Old 21.10.2011, 14:48
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

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If the parents don't tell the children what the meaning of the celebration is, the kids just take all the freedom to push the boundaries of behaviour they can get. A celebration forced into homes by the marketing industry, it can only go wrong.
Yeah... I remember 1992 mother's day riot...
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Old 22.10.2011, 11:50
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

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Halloween is not just an American tradition. It dates back to the Celtic Samhain festival which was first written about in the 10th Century. The word Halloween itself is a 16th Centrury Scots word derived from "All Hallows Even". The tradition of Trick or Treat started in Scotland where we know it as Guising (meaning to go in disguise) back in 1895 and this was based on an even earlier tradition to celebrate All Saints Day.
not many people seem to remember that, but i certainly remember guising! also spending the previous day hollowing out the turnip for the lantern - no easy pumpkin carving for us! It was such hard work to make a lantern, i think we deserved any treat we could get! also, we would spend time to learn a song or party piece to recite - i do have memories of going inside the homes of complete strangers to sing and dance !
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Old 22.10.2011, 12:37
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

Those were the good old days

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not many people seem to remember that, but i certainly remember guising! also spending the previous day hollowing out the turnip for the lantern - no easy pumpkin carving for us! It was such hard work to make a lantern, i think we deserved any treat we could get! also, we would spend time to learn a song or party piece to recite - i do have memories of going inside the homes of complete strangers to sing and dance !
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Old 22.10.2011, 13:38
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

An old tradition for us too. But we didn't have the trick ("threat") element... just the treat!
The only real trick was that the little children believed their disguise really convinced you they were cowboys or witches. To reward their clever disguise you gave them apples and nuts, the fruits in season. Sweets came in when people no longer had their own orchards in urban gardens...
In fact all that goul and vampire horror stuff is from the "revamped", across the ocean, version too! The real fear of spirits out and about and up to mischief on that night was enough for the thrill element, in the "ould" days.
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Old 28.10.2011, 11:13
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

Right on Lou, thanks for pointing this out, that Halloween is not "American", but rather a Celtic holiday.

I once had a Swiss guy telling me what an affront it is for foreigners to want to celebrate Halloween here in Switzerland because it is not Swiss. I told him he'd better not go to church then, because the Jewish carpenter we worship is also not Swiss.

As far as destructive behavior, the Swiss need look no further than their own Fasnacht. I remember seeing in Basel, over the course of several years, many smashed storefront windows because someone forgot to turn out a light on Morgenstreik. My wife was also assaulted by a drunk Fasnacht marcher when, during a parade, she warned him that he was about to trip over a cable from a live TV van. Amazingly, the people in the crowd told her it was her own fault because she should never address someone who is marching in costume (the ultimate blame the victim!).

Eggs wash off and one can always have a quiet evening after an unexpected ring at the doorbell. Broken sheet glass takes longer to fix, and bruises take longer to heal.
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Old 28.10.2011, 11:22
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

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not many people seem to remember that, but i certainly remember guising! also spending the previous day hollowing out the turnip for the lantern - no easy pumpkin carving for us! It was such hard work to make a lantern, i think we deserved any treat we could get! also, we would spend time to learn a song or party piece to recite - i do have memories of going inside the homes of complete strangers to sing and dance !

I too remember this, my gran would help make costumes, we would learn full dance routines and yes go in to complete strangers houses and dance for chocolate and if you were really lucky a penny!! Good old guising, oh and my kids still go guising not Trick or Treating, and my elderly Swiss neighbours look foward to it.
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Old 28.10.2011, 11:44
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

Halloween with trick or treating was unknown in Switzerland only 15 years ago. Even in the UK until the movie ET...
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Old 28.10.2011, 11:58
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

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Halloween with trick or treating was unknown in Switzerland only 15 years ago. Even in the UK until the movie ET...

Rubbish, we were trick-or-treating back in the 70's.
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Old 28.10.2011, 12:32
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

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Halloween is not just an American tradition. It dates back to the Celtic Samhain festival which was first written about in the 10th Century. The word Halloween itself is a 16th Centrury Scots word derived from "All Hallows Even". The tradition of Trick or Treat started in Scotland where we know it as Guising (meaning to go in disguise) back in 1895 and this was based on an even earlier tradition to celebrate All Saints Day.
Back in Scotland your costume had to be related to an old Scottish prayer:

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

None of this dress up in cutesy outfits.

And you had to be able to tell a joke, sing a song, recite a poem in order to get your reward.
Best houses to go to were where there was homemade tablet, toffee apples or puff candy and word soon got round all the children guising as to where the best booty was!
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Old 28.10.2011, 13:43
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

I'm pretty bah humbug about it all to be honest. I'm sorry, I know it's all supposed to be fun but I just can't get my head around the knocking on peoples doors threatening them in order to get sweets. Yes, I know that's me over reacting to something that's supposed to be harmless but I just don't like it and that's that.

In the UK halloween has become a night to cower in fear in your house for a lot of people - scared at what the local yobs are going to do to you should you dare not to give them treats - or money - my parents were once asked "ain't you got better than that, some cash or somink" and then had their fence vandalised - and it's all teens doing it no cute dressed up kiddies there.

I've got nothing against a bit of halloween partying and fun but I just can't abide the trick or treat part and my kids will not be doing it.
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Old 28.10.2011, 14:03
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Re: Halloween explained to Aargau youths... by the police.

Americans have been funny with Halloween lately. Some neighborhoods observe the holiday on other days of the week, e.g. the Saturday before the actual date, and they trick or treat before sundown. When I was growing up, it was always that we trick or treated on Halloween, regardless what day of the week it was, and we didn't even leave the house in costume until the sun had set.

One important aspect of the American custom is that, if a home doesn't have the porch light on, it means that they aren't participating in Halloween and children shan't ring the bell, knock, bang and holler until someone opens the door.

After several years of living in an apartment and having had my bowl of candy at the ready, and not getting any takers, I gave up. So when I moved into my house a couple of years ago, I didn't participate, either. I didn't think there were that many kids in the neighborhood anyway. And I kept my porch light OFF.

Regardless, those little buggers still came by, rang the bell, knocked, banged, and hollered. And when I didn't answer, they only rang more, knocked harder, banged louder, and hollered longer. So RUDE!!!!

So... I will be greatful to be living in Switzerland this year, knowing that NOBODY will be knocking on my door this Halloween.
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