Are you new to a country that celebrates Halloween? Here are some questions you may have. 

When is Halloween?
October 31st. 

What is going to happen on Halloween night in my neighbourhood?
When it gets dark outside, kids will dress up in costumes and knock on doors. They will ask for candy. If you don't want to hand out candy, turn your lights off on Halloween night. Don't answer the door.

How much candy do I need? 
It depends on your neighbourhood. Ask your neighbours how many kids they usually get at the door. Say, "How many kids do you usually get for Halloween?". 

What kind of candy should I buy? 
Choose candy that is wrapped, such as chocolate bars. You can also buy boxes of mini bags of potato chips. Avoid loose candy. Most parents will throw it out. Your local grocery store will have lots to choose from. 

How much candy do I give each child? 
You can just put one item in each child's bag or bucket. If you have lots of candy near the end of the night, give out a few pieces to each child.

What do I do if I run out of candy? 
Turn your light off. Most kids won't come to a house if there are no lights on. 

I live in an apartment. Will I still get trick-or-treaters at my door? 
Yes! If children live in your complex, you may get trick-or-treaters. Be prepared!

What should I say to trick-or-treaters? 
Comment on their costume: Very scary! Such a pretty princess! I love your costume! Show some interest in the kids: What are you supposed to be?

How do I decorate for Halloween? 
You can put a jack-o-lantern outside. You can also put out pictures or figurines of creepy characters to make your house look haunted.

I bought a pumpkin. Now what? 
Carve it into a jack-o-lantern and put it outside on Halloween night. Follow these easy steps.

Do costumes have to be scary? 
No! Children dress up as all sorts of things on Halloween. These include superheroes, pop stars, and cartoon characters. The most creative (handmade) costumes are the best. 

Is dressing up only for kids? 
No! Many adults dress up for Halloween. Some go to costume parties or dress up at work. Others dress up to take their kids trick-or-treating.

What time do I take my child out trick-or-treating?
Don't start until it's almost dark. Young children are usually the earliest to start. Older children wait until it's pitch dark out. 

What does my child say when he/she knocks on a neighbour's door? 
"Trick or treat!" 

What is the "trick" for in trick-or-treat? 
This was an old part of the tradition. These days most people just hand out candy.

How can I hand out candy if I'm out trick-or-treating with my child?
Ask a friend or family member to hand out candy at your place. If you don't have someone to ask, turn your light off until you get back. 

Can I trust the candy my child receives? 
This is up to you. Look through the candy carefully to make sure it's wrapped. Throw away any fruit or unwrapped treats.

We don't celebrate Halloween, but my child's school is having a party. What should I do?
Your child probably won't be the only one not celebrating. Explain to your child and his/her teacher that Halloween is not part of your family's tradition, and that you choose not to send your child in a costume.

Why did a child come to my door and ask me to smell his feet?
Some trick-or-treaters sing a rhyme that goes like this: "Trick or treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to eat. Not too big. Not too small. Just the size of Montreal."

If you have any more questions, leave them in the comments! Happy Halloween.

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Comment by Tara Benwell on November 4, 2013 at 14:00

@Babare Thanks for sharing some details about your Christmas Eve ritual. I would love to see some pictures.

Comment by Tara Benwell on November 1, 2013 at 15:21

@Expector Interesting! Here in Canada, most people watch the Times Square program on New Year's Eve. It's a bit different now without Dick Clark who passed away last year. He was always the host, but kids these days won't know him, and may not be interested in watching the ball drop in New York anymore.  I think Ryan Seacrest did a good job of replacing Dick Clark, and I'm sure we'll keep watching it. 

Comment by Expector Smith on October 31, 2013 at 23:21

Thanks Tara!

The computer may be to blame, too. The traditions used to be so popular, especially when there was no such thing as computers or the Internet.

On the Chinese New Year Eve, we set off fireworks, which used to be so attractive to children, but they don't seem to be so eager to participate. The chances are that I myself will set off all the fireworks instead of the children.

Also, on the Eve, we'll sit together on the sofa to watch the TV special programme. The famous TV programme used to be a must, but more and more people find it no longer so charming, so this year we have invited a famous film director to direct the TV programme. I can't wait to enjoy it, but I wonder if other people, especially the children who have already had so many entertainments, will be so excited to watch it. Some people may argue that why bother to make such a TV programme - waste of time and money.

Comment by Sono on October 31, 2013 at 14:28

Halloween Event, bit same our religion event Loy akhtar (Eid ul fitr).

Children go at neighbors or relatives home for want to some money or gift from elders

Comment by Nanda on October 31, 2013 at 14:25

I think thats a great party...

i wanna going on that party~~~,,, but it not in indonesia,,,

anybody would send me photos of your halloween party???? i'm so curious,,,

Comment by Tara Benwell on October 31, 2013 at 13:56

@Expector That is such a shame! We must find ways to keep these traditions going. I think the adults may be to blame. I know some adults who say they hate Halloween because it is too commercialized. They don't have any kids of their own, so they think they can avoid handing out candy. It makes me sad to see so many houses with the lights out on Halloween. When we were kids, we went trick-or-treating, and the streets were full of decorations and pumpkins. Most people participated.  I think it's our job as adults to keep the tradition going. It's a way of giving back and keeping a tradition alive. Of course, traditions do evolve, and that is part of the fun.

There are also people who have religious reasons for not celebrating, and that is a totally understandable reason for not participating. 

Comment by Tara Benwell on October 31, 2013 at 13:50

@Piña Great question! No, it is not a bank holiday. It is the children's favourite day to go to school. I love dropping my kids off at school on Halloween. The teachers have amazing costumes, and the kids are so cute. Today I dropped off a red-eyed tree frog and Katy Perry. ;) 

Comment by Tara Benwell on October 31, 2013 at 13:48

@Mickey and @Nida Halloween was originally called "All Hallow's Eve". It was the day before "All Hallow's Day," which you may know as "All Saints Day" (a day of prayer for saints). Long ago, people used to go door-to-door offering prayers for the dead. Treats and "soul cakes" were exchanged for prayers. Over the years, this tradition has changed a lot! 

Comment by Tara Benwell on October 31, 2013 at 13:41

@Barbare We don't eat the pumpkins because we carve them into jack-o-lanterns. Then we put candles in them and put them in front of our homes on Halloween night. We do roast pumpkin seeds, though.  

Do you find this tradition wasteful?

Comment by ⊱ Mickey ⊰ on October 31, 2013 at 5:37

It's my favorite traditonal festival, the spring festival!

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