The Halloween festivities began this morning at Xiada you er yuan (kindergarten) when I brought in Helen's costume for her to put on, and in my halting Chinese and with a little help from the teacher I explained a few Halloween customs, like costumes, putting the face on the pumpkin, and children getting candy. I brought in some masks and headbands, crowns etc. for the children to put on and in groups of 5-6 they came up to me and with Helen's help said "trick or treat" and "thank you" as I gave out candy. Finally, I had made holes in paper plates for each child to make a mask..afterwards the teacher took their picture but my camera batteries died (have got to stop buying Chinese brand batteries for the camera) so maybe I will post it when she emails it.
At out home we had some decorations going, including this major find- a Chinese lantern with a pumpkin face -- I hung a flashlight inside and ta-da -- our jack o'lantern.
Sophia was some kind of a kitty/fairy, Helen a princess, of course, and Thomas a frightful monster in the scream mask. He enjoyed scaring some local folks on our way to and from the restaurant. Pizza Hut has been pushing Halloween all month, even making their employees dress in costume, so it was the perfect place for our Halloween party, which included us and our neighbors and an American teacher at the International School and her two daughters.
There was another family in the restaurant with a child in a very classy pirate costume, and his father got him to pose with Helen, who was skipping through the restaurant quite happily showing off her costume.
Then back to the guesthouse for trick or treating between our two apartments and down the hall to one of our friends, a German woman who spent 8 years in the US and was well prepared. Also the woman who babysits for us dropped off a bag full of candy.
Our neighbor Kate definitely had the most original costume -- a pop up book about herself.
To top off the fun, our Chinese tutor and her young son stopped by and we taught him to trick or treat..he also played Gameboy with Thomas..the international language of young boys everywhere. They stayed quite a while and we had a great time talking to our tutor about all kids of things, including adoption, child raising, why Chinese people dress their kids so warm, etc. Good times. Our expectations for Halloween were pretty low, but I think we had a pretty good one after all.. miss all our Buffalo Parkside neighbors -- hope you have a good night for it tomorrow!