Halloween In My Town: Stavanger,Norway! With @Norwegian_Halloween_Queen!

Halloween In My Town!

I live in Stavanger. A beautiful town on the west coast of Norway.

I moved here in 2008 from Oslo. I learned about the wonders of Halloween in 2000 when visiting friends in Texas, USA.

October 31st is my birthday and it took me over 40 years before I discovered this wonderful spooky holiday.

Party

Halloween is not very big in Norway, but we are slowly getting there. Here in Stavanger there are Halloween parties at nightclubs and pubs, schools have begun to have Halloween parites for children and people have parties at home. So the adults get drunk and the kids eat candy!

Some children go Trick or Treating, but not very many. I have the same ones come to my door every year. I let them in to have a look at my decorations. Even one of the parents said it was the highlight of the year!!

Stores

We have basically 2 shops, NILLE and Europris, which sells Halloween decorations and costumes ca. 2 weeks before Halloween. But, if you take the time and go searching in other stores, you might get lucky. I actually found some great things in book stores. Like the 2 felt baskets and Tea candle holders.

NILLE and Europris basically have part items. Baloons, paper plates/cup, arms, legs and blood, and everything you might need for a spooky bloody party! I’m not too much into that and struggle to find things I like. So thanks heaven for my lovely Texas friends who have provided me with most of the decorations I got.

And then there is internet……. So much Halloween stuff, so little time!! (read money!) We have to pay toll and taxes for purchases over ca. $ 35/£ 35. EEEEEEK!! If that isn’t spooky…….

Pumpkins

What is Halloween without carved pumpkins. I buy mine at our main grocery store, Meny. They only start selling a week before Halloween. As far as I know, the grocery stores are the only place you can get big ones for carving. I also buy small ones from flowershops for Fall decorations.

Decorations

So far there are not much outdoor decorating here in Stavanger and as far as I know, people only decorate for that one Halloween party they’re having. I have always shed a little tear every year when I have to put my decorations in storage. This year I caved in, and decided to do a bit of Halloween all year. Do what makes you happy I say. And pumpkins, witches, Fall colours and spooky things make me VERY happy!! YAAAAY!!!!

Finger crossed. Let’s hope this wonderful spooky celebration will only grow bigger and bigger each year……

Gro.

Norwegian_halloween_queen

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Halloween In My Town! With : The Haunted Bat !

Halloween In My Town!

Halloween in England – The Haunted Bat
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Hallow Guys and Ghouls,

I was asked by the awesome Norwegian Halloween to tell you a little about Halloweeeen where I live (in England!). So here we go:

As a Primary School teacher, I look forward to the Summer holidays – not just because I can have some time away from work – BUT because during the Summer holidays IT BEGINS. In England, around July we begin to see a few trickles of Autumn appear within the high street stores; and by August the Jack-o-lanterns and Ghosts begin to appear on the shelves.

Currently, in June 2018, I have seen some Instagram posts which revealed that a couple of shops in America have already started stocking their Halloween goodies; so fingers crossed it will start earlier in England too!

Halloween Decorations

In England Halloween is ever growing. My advice, to any Halloween lover in the UK, is to frequently stalk your local Homesence; as they are usually the first stores to stock anything Spooky.

But, if you don’t live too close to one, there are loads of Facebook pages devoted to sharing knowledge of Halloween sightings: such as Halloween Décor UK and Halloween Watch UK. Unfortunately, in the Homesence stores they have limited stock; so you have to buy it as soon as you see it!Usually they swap over to Christmas stock in the first few weeks of October (BOOO!).

Other stores, such as B&M, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Primark, all begin stocking Halloween items around September, but saying that, they are starting earlier each year (WOO!).

Traditions

Within England it is traditional for children to ‘Trick or Treat’; however, it usually ends at around the age of 14. I don’t really have neighbours where I live; but if you go down into the village you can see the children trick or treating on Halloween. The common practice (where I live anyway) is to only knock on the door if there is a carved pumpkin outside – If there is no pumpkin, don’t go knocking! It is uncommon to decorate the outside of the house for Halloween; I probably only saw three houses decorate across the whole of Halloween season last year – apparently within England carving a singular pumpkin is enough!

Pumpkins

As for where we get our pumpkins; the majority of Brit’s would say they brought theirs from the local supermarket (Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Co-op etc.); and I too would have said this if you had asked me a few years ago.

However, slowly but surely, I have noticed more Pumpkin Patches opening across England; wherein you can go, walk up and down the fields and pick your perfect pumpkin! It is great fun as there are also little rides, stalls and a Maize Maze.

Costume

Every year I make sure I handmake my Halloween outfit; and have enjoyed dressing-up as all my favourite spooky characters.

In today’s society there are so many ‘quick fix’ outfits on offer, and I believe it is becoming more common to just buy fully pre-made outfit – Asda do have an awesome range – most of which I would wear on the daily! Obviously, there are positives and negatives; it saves time, allows everyone to get involved; but is it as fun just buying off the rack?

Halloween Party

I love a good Halloween party; which is the natural progression once you get too old to Trick or Treat … or once people begin to THINK you are too old! I am not sure about the rest of England, but there are some specific games I love to play during my Halloween parties. Bobbing for apples is a must, and if you add some tomatoes (which sink) it creates an extra level of competitiveness for those who like a challenge.

We also play toilet paper mummies: in which we see which pair can wrap their partner up in toilet paper the quickest.

And one of my personal favourites – Pin the Cat on the Witch’s Broom!

Halloween in England is ever growing but compared to America we still have a long way to go! I look forward to seeing what this year brings… let the spooks begin!

Lizzie AKA The Haunted Bat.

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