Halloween in New York ain’t like Guy Fawkes in New Zealand

It's been well over 15 years since I last trick or treated growing up in Eastern Canada. I remembering the freezing cold nights with 2-3 layers of clothes under my costume. Sometimes it wasn't even obvious what my costume was because I needed to add a jacket over top to combat the biting cold wind - Imagine a gypsy who looked more like a bag lady trying to keep warm. It's easy to give up Halloween when you have to go door to door under those conditions. I don't have any recollection of being one of those akward teens who tries to make out like a bandit running from house to house to get candy barely even saying trick or treat, let alone thank you. Besides the cold it probably had something to do with how tall I was. I always looked older than I was and probably got weird looks from the old lady down the road that thought I was past my trick or treating prime.

Even though Monkey #1 is 4, he has yet to celebrate a Halloween. Depending on where you live in NZ, kids get suited up and head out desperately looking for houses that are taking part. We've never been in a neighborhood that took part in the largely North American celebration. for 7 of the 8 years we lived in New Zealand we lived a 3 minute walk from the beach. This beach was notorious for its Guy Fawkes celebrations that are held yearly on November 5th. In a nutshell Guy Fawkes is something to do with this guy Guy who tried to blow up some building in England, his attempt was thwarted and the people celebrated his arrest with bonfires. If you saw the movie V for Vendetta and did not fall asleep, like I did, you might have a better grasp of this moment in history. Fast forward to modern day England and some of its colonies (such as Barbados and New Zealand) celebrate with big fireworks displays. Last year we went to a Guy Fawkes party where at least 3 of the dads had purchased fireworks kits that cost $200 each! Meanwhile us mums had to pacify our littlies with ice cream and cover their ears to make sure they didn't either lose their hearing from the sheer loudness of the explosions or have a meltdown from how scary the sound was. That year was my first DIY Guy Fawkes, it was fun. I can't believe how fun explosives can be. Guy Fawkes always brings with it the need for dogs to be medicated or some git burning something down. Though the actual night is November 5, some die hards will let off fireworks for days before and after with no regard to the time of day or people trying to get sleep.

For our first Halloween in New York, we were lucky to be living on a street that has a very organized block association. We didn't even need to venture off our street to be greeted by ghouls, witches, scary music and awesome decorations. Monkey #1 got the hang of how it all worked pretty quickly. He's not a greedy boy, or one who enjoys crowds so by about 20 minutes in he was wanting to call it a night. I hate being pushed and stepped on as well, so I could understand. Our street looked like this.

Upper West Side Halloween night
strollers, witches, music and trick or treating in the Upper West Side

Our block had an honorable mention on popular New York Mom's guide Mommy Poppins as a place to go trick or treating in Manhattan, so you can imagine how huge of a production it was.

We did manage to stay out for 45 minutes and we all had a good time. It wasn't very cold so that was a bonus.

And I got to meet neighbors I'd never met before.

a masqueraded neighbor, Monkey #1 (Buzz Lightyear) and me
a masqueraded neighbor, Monkey #1 (Buzz Lightyear) and me

How was your Halloween? Did you celebrate or do you celebrate Day of the Dead or something else? Monkey #1 is still so over the moon with the night and everything we did leading up to it. Big Monkey carved his first ever pumpkin and Monkey #1 was a great helper. Of course in our haste to get amongst it, we carved it too early and its now a moldy heap, oops!

More photos from our first American Halloween can be found on my blog mama goes BAM.

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