September 22 is officially the last day of summer. While the rest of the world mourns the end of long, hot sunny days, Americans couldn’t be more excited about the arrival of Autumn — or “Fall” as the season is known to Americans.
As soon as school starts again, stores start filling up with pumpkins and nearly any food imaginable now has some Autumnal-inspired twist. From pumpkin-flavored crackers to pumpkin-filled ravioli and waffles, if you visit the United States between September and December, you are likely to get your pumpkin fix. You better like pumpkins!
But Americans love the Fall season for another big reason. Yes, the changing leaves are stunning; yes, American football is back; but most importantly, Halloween is finally around the corner.
Europeans are familiar with Halloween, and although it’s celebrated to a certain extent in the UK, there’s no better place to discover this unique holiday than in the United States.
At the start of October, Americans start decorating their porches and their front yards with Halloween decorations– skeletons, ghosts, witches, spiders and their webs, scary goblins, and, of course, pumpkins.
A few weeks before Halloween, families will head to the pumpkin patch to buy their pumpkin. Typically, a child will then draw up a face and have one of his or her parents carve it out to make a Jack O’ Lantern. Some can be very impressive! Some families will then save the pumpkin seeds and roast them with cinnamon.
As Halloween approaches, children choose their costumes and many get very creative with them. Some choose to dress up in more traditional Halloween accoutrements — witches, skeletons, ghosts — while others take this unique opportunity of the year to dress up as their favorite story character, animal, etc.
On Halloween night, children go from decorated house to decorated house to trick or treat. The more decorated the house, the better. No more than two pieces of candy, or you’ll look greedy! It’s a great way to meet your neighbors and it’s a fun tradition your children will love.
When it’s all over, children still have their big bag of candy to enjoy, so there are no tears, and above all the Fall festivities are far from over. Still up on the list: Thanksgiving, followed by the Holiday season!