In Search of the Great Pumpkin

In Search of the Great Pumpkin

When I first moved to The Netherlands I knew that the holidays and traditions would be different but for me giving up Halloween was very difficult. Children in the States usually starting planning their costume on November 1st (the day after Halloween), that’s if they’re not in too much of a sugar coma from the night before.


As a kid I usually had to dress up in something that had been handed down from one of my sisters. And there was rarely a store bought costume in my closet. I remember being a bunny, a hobo, clown, gypsi but my favorite was the milkmaid.

Linus explains the Great Pumpkin in the beloved Halloween tale; It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! The Great Pumpkin is a fictional character that Linus ranks right up there with Santa and the Easter Bunny. Linus tells us that The Great Pumpkin comes out on Halloween night in search of the most perfect pumpkin patch. And when he finds it he bestows gifts upon the children (just like Santa)! Poor Linus sits in the local patch waiting and waiting for the arrival of The Great Pumpkin… all the while missing the Halloween parties, and tricks and treats.

Traditionally, here in The Netherlands, the Dutch celebrate Sint Maarten’s Day on November 11. St. Maarten was a friend of the children and a patron of the poor. Children in parts of The Netherlands make paper lanterns

 and carry them from house to house asking for candy. But, here in The Netherlands…. I think… Halloween is beginning to catch on…Very slowly but with a lot of enthusiasm. I mean, how you cannot love a holiday where you can dress up in costume and get free candy.

Over the years I’ve discovered local farmers that sell pumpkins and gourds along the side of their farms. I love it because then I’m able to bring a little fall into my home decorations. It also is just endearing to see the little stands along a fabulous fall bike ride. I’m not sure about other areas, but my local Carnival store is open year round. 

It’s a fabulous place to get costumes but they also have a huge isle of spooky, scary Halloween fun. It was so fun to see the kids trying to make the moving scary creatures cry out a cackle when they would move past the motion sensor. And I enjoyed their wonderment of all the scary skeletons and scary witch masks.  I love it!

This year I attended a few costume and Halloween parties. It really puts the fun into the holiday. One fabulous party was put on by the North American Women’s Club of Eindhoven in conjunction with our local International hangout The Hub Eindhoven for Expats .Three of my friends, Sam, Katja and Jessica, threw two wonderful Halloween parties.

Jessica, Sam & Katja
photo by Bart Salters

 One for children was held during the day. The children came dressed in their favorite Halloween costumes, got to Trunk or Treat, had their little adorable faces painted, carved pumpkins 

photo by Bart Salters

and took Broom Flying lessons. 

photo by Bart Salters

Such a wonderful time was had by the children. I’m sure they’re all wondering what to be for next year’s party.

Goodies by my friend Linda

 But that night… the lights came down, the adult beverages came out,

Prosecco with a shot of blood

 music filled the air as the Hub became filled with spooky, creepy, beautiful and funny creatures. 
Sam, Ruxi and I

Brendan in the Kill Room

And whether you’re 13 or 30 or any age for that matter, who can resist a night dancing to Thriller!

I’m so happy that some areas in The Netherlands are embracing Halloween. Fun, spooky delights with costumes and candy. I think the Great Pumpkin will need to start looking for the perfect pumpkin patch on this side of the pond.

Happy Halloween!

Todd and I dressed as 
Vincent Vega and Mrs. Mia Wallace


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