Holidays are incredibly important when you live abroad. They make you feel and sometimes miss the US more than you normally would. Each family has "their holiday" and for mine its Halloween. Every year I unpack multiple boxes of Halloween items, decorate the house in mock candles and get into a truly spooky mood, but why?
I think partially, despite the ghouls, ghosts and satanic rhetoric, Halloween feels nonreligious and to some extent anti religious. I feel like anyone can get into it. When we lived in Thailand, Halloween was beginning to take off pretty seriously. Like Valentine's day, the Thai people were embracing the Western holiday. Now the Thai version, much like middle school Halloween, was all about dressing up like your favorite animated character and had a noticeable lack of spooky or horror. But inherently Thai holidays are very "fluffy."
Ghana is another thing entirely. As you would expect there is a large stigma here associated with Halloween as their religious culture is very superstitious. As I started taking out my Halloween decorations, I noticed the looks of fear on the faces of our household staff. The guards think I'm nuts, our nanny I think fears the decorations and our gardener oddly is super into it with me.
There are some exceptions. The local batik maker has some CRAZY Halloween fabric and there does appear to be some "masquerade" events around town, but no scary and certainly no Horror!
This year we also volunteered to host the adults only embassy party so I will post all the pics, but I am loving getting into home haunting. This year I decided to go NUTS with home crafts and DIY projects.