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Aniia

What are your Halloween plans this year, during covid-19?

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One of my friends runs a haunted house each October. She's so disappointed because this year Halloween is a Saturday and she'd been hoping for a big turnout, but because of the pandemic she's not opening this year. She just can't see a way to do it responsibly, especially since her household is recovering from catching covid-19 early this month.

 

The city I live in is allowing residents to petition to close traffic on small streets, if they can provide reasonable evidence they can maintain organized and socially-distanced trick-or-treating hours.

 

There's also a local farm that does a haunted corn maze each year, but this time they converted it into a drive-through maze. The guests park their car at each scene, the people come out to scare them, and then they're allowed to move forward to the next scene. I thought that was pretty clever!

 

My family's basically just moved everything indoors. The decorations are inside instead of outside, and we're planning a household party with seasonal foods, a scary movie marathon, and a candy scavenger hunt as an alternative to trick-or-treating. 

 

Are you guys adjusting any of your plans this year?

 

Edited by Aniia

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The city in which I live is very irresponsible towards quarantine. But I didn't planned to attend parties. I will dress up in an executioner costume, take a photos somewhere in empty place with no people, and spend the evening with my husband over a glass of wine and a good movie.

Edited by Zircion

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In Finland Halloween is not such a big thing. Well, of course, nowadays we do have some Halloween parties but I think it's mostly just different stores being able to sell things no one really needs, and also Finns having another great excuse to drink too much. Neither of those interests me, so no changes at all this year. The last time I attended a Halloween party was when I was like ten or something, and back then it actually seemed to be more like a children's thing here. We don't go trick-or-treating, though. We have a bit similar custom for children on Easter, instead.

 

With my mother, we usually go plant something and light candles in the graveyard on All Saints' Day, which is the 31st this year here in Finland. But since I started studying in the uni we've actually changed the habit so that we often do that a bit earlier because I have a lecture break in late October every year, so we went there last week already. I guess that wasn't a bad decision as there might be more people going around next weekend, and the epidemic situation has been getting worse in my city lately.

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I have never made a big thing out of Halloween, but I have always enjoyed seeing all the kids in their costumes as they come to the door for trick or treat. I don't know if there will be any coming this year, but I will not be greeting them at the door if they do. I plan on putting a small table out on the porch with candy for them. I may watch from inside the door.

 

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9 hours ago, Varislapsi said:

In Finland Halloween is not such a big thing. Well, of course, nowadays we do have some Halloween parties but I think it's mostly just different stores being able to sell things no one really needs, and also Finns having another great excuse to drink too much. Neither of those interests me, so no changes at all this year. The last time I attended a Halloween party was when I was like ten or something, and back then it actually seemed to be more like a children's thing here. We don't go trick-or-treating, though. We have a bit similar custom for children on Easter, instead.

 

With my mother, we usually go plant something and light candles in the graveyard on All Saints' Day, which is the 31st this year here in Finland. But since I started studying in the uni we've actually changed the habit so that we often do that a bit earlier because I have a lecture break in late October every year, so we went there last week already. I guess that wasn't a bad decision as there might be more people going around next weekend, and the epidemic situation has been getting worse in my city lately.

 

I like the tradition you have with your mother. Do you plant things in pots indoors? Or something like tulip bulbs outside? Just curious about that; I'm quite a bit farther south than Helsinki and it's almost too late in the year to plant bulbs here.

 

At this point, I'm most likely going to spend Halloween visiting my husband in hospital. (Pneumonia but not Covid. Unfortunately, he's diabetic so there's a lot of complications and as of right now, there's not even a guess as to when he'll be released.) Then when visiting hours are over, I'll go home and light a candle in my dad's memory. Thanks to a countryman of yours, I've even got a song to suit the mood - Marko Hietala's Isäni ääni. (I prefer the original to the English version, although they're both good.)

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My country doesn't celebrate halloween. There would still be events in malls and markets though.

Edited by ADaftlittlePunk

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9 hours ago, catstaff said:

 

I like the tradition you have with your mother. Do you plant things in pots indoors? Or something like tulip bulbs outside? Just curious about that; I'm quite a bit farther south than Helsinki and it's almost too late in the year to plant bulbs here.

 

At this point, I'm most likely going to spend Halloween visiting my husband in hospital. (Pneumonia but not Covid. Unfortunately, he's diabetic so there's a lot of complications and as of right now, there's not even a guess as to when he'll be released.) Then when visiting hours are over, I'll go home and light a candle in my dad's memory. Thanks to a countryman of yours, I've even got a song to suit the mood - Marko Hietala's Isäni ääni. (I prefer the original to the English version, although they're both good.)

 

Oh I meant just something for the winter time, basically heathers, because they're very easy to find and they survive well here. I do like them a lot, also, they're beautiful as long as they are natural and not the odd painted ones... and in Helsinki, as far as I recall, the land has almost always still been soft enough in October, even in early November. I can remember one colder autumn, a few years ago, but that was an exception! Last winter the land was soft even in Christmas and we didn't get any snow at all the whole season. I hope we will have a proper winter this year.

 

I'm so sorry for your husband! :( I will keep my fingers crossed he'd get better as soon as possible!

 

I'll light some candles here at home, too, because I can't visit the place where my grandparents from my father's side were buried, it's too far away. On some years I have carved some pumpkin lanterns (with cat face 🐈) but I don't know if I'll do that this time, pumpkins are so expensive, currently, and honestly I'm not sure if I have the energy, there's so much schoolwork to do.

Edited by Varislapsi

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2 hours ago, Varislapsi said:

 

Oh I meant just something for the winter time, basically heathers, because they're very easy to find and they survive well here. I do like them a lot, also, they're beautiful as long as they are natural and not the odd painted ones... and in Helsinki, as far as I recall, the land has almost always still been soft enough in October, even in early November. I can remember one colder autumn, a few years ago, but that was an exception! Last winter the land was soft even in Christmas and we didn't get any snow at all the whole season. I hope we will have a proper winter this year.

 

I'm so sorry for your husband! :( I will keep my fingers crossed he'd get better as soon as possible!

 

I'll light some candles here at home, too, because I can't visit the place where my grandparents from my father's side were buried, it's too far away. On some years I have carved some pumpkin lanterns (with cat face 🐈) but I don't know if I'll do that this time, pumpkins are so expensive, currently, and honestly I'm not sure if I have the energy, there's so much schoolwork to do.

 

Oh, heather is lovely! The ground where I am (currently the state of Maryland, USA) usually stays soft enough to dig in pretty well into December, but it often gets rainy at this time of year. Planting things late October and early November can be done if it's dry enough, but if it's too wet, there is a good chance anything you plant will end up with rotted roots. I'd like to see a proper winter myself, I love cold and snow, but we'll see. This area is kind of on the border between places that get good winters and places that get miserable wet-but-not-white winters, so who knows what will happen.

 

I thought about carving a pumpkin, but with just me at home, it's too much trouble. I've got a couple of very nosy cats and not enough space to work in the only room I can shut them out of. I don't want a repeat of the year one of them got into where I was scooping out the insides of the pumpkin and stepped into the goop I had already scooped out! Her white foot was stained orange and she smelled like pumpkin for a week even though I washed her as quickly as I could. Not to mention that I had to wash the pumpkin footprints off the floor and carpet.

 

Kiitos for the good wishes for my husband, and good luck with your schoolwork!

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1 hour ago, catstaff said:

 

Oh, heather is lovely! The ground where I am (currently the state of Maryland, USA) usually stays soft enough to dig in pretty well into December, but it often gets rainy at this time of year. Planting things late October and early November can be done if it's dry enough, but if it's too wet, there is a good chance anything you plant will end up with rotted roots. I'd like to see a proper winter myself, I love cold and snow, but we'll see. This area is kind of on the border between places that get good winters and places that get miserable wet-but-not-white winters, so who knows what will happen.

 

I thought about carving a pumpkin, but with just me at home, it's too much trouble. I've got a couple of very nosy cats and not enough space to work in the only room I can shut them out of. I don't want a repeat of the year one of them got into where I was scooping out the insides of the pumpkin and stepped into the goop I had already scooped out! Her white foot was stained orange and she smelled like pumpkin for a week even though I washed her as quickly as I could. Not to mention that I had to wash the pumpkin footprints off the floor and carpet.

 

Kiitos for the good wishes for my husband, and good luck with your schoolwork!

 

Kiitos to you! :) I can imagine the trouble with your cats (mine are currently sitting on my back and in between my arms when I'm trying to write this...). Well, I hope she had fun at least. :D

 

I have no gardening skills so thanks for the information, that seems very reasonable! We usually just worry about if the ground gets frozen early because theoretically that would be possible. In my childhood we had nice snowy winters in Helsinki but it feels they get warmer every year. Now it's rare that we'd have any snow before New Year, though last winter was the first I've experienced with no snow at all, wet-but-not-white as you described. Let's hope we'll both get our lovely white winters! Otherwise I guess I have to start considering moving to Rovaniemi (in Lapland)...

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4 hours ago, Varislapsi said:

 

Kiitos to you! :) I can imagine the trouble with your cats (mine are currently sitting on my back and in between my arms when I'm trying to write this...). Well, I hope she had fun at least. :D

 

I have no gardening skills so thanks for the information, that seems very reasonable! We usually just worry about if the ground gets frozen early because theoretically that would be possible. In my childhood we had nice snowy winters in Helsinki but it feels they get warmer every year. Now it's rare that we'd have any snow before New Year, though last winter was the first I've experienced with no snow at all, wet-but-not-white as you described. Let's hope we'll both get our lovely white winters! Otherwise I guess I have to start considering moving to Rovaniemi (in Lapland)...

 

I'd think about joining you in Rovaniemi but for little problems like my husband would hate it (he wants to move to Florida when he retires!) and of course, I only know about four words of Suomi and two of them shouldn't be used in polite company. 😄 Everyone I've talked to says it's one of the hardest languages to learn. Of the polite words I know, "kiitos" is easy to use, but the grammar behind the use of "laulaa" has me confused so far. I mean, I've gotten to where I recognize different tenses when I've heard or seen them, but aside from knowing "Oh, that's something to do with singing!" I still have to depend on Google Translate for anything else.

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14 hours ago, catstaff said:

 

I'd think about joining you in Rovaniemi but for little problems like my husband would hate it (he wants to move to Florida when he retires!) and of course, I only know about four words of Suomi and two of them shouldn't be used in polite company. 😄 Everyone I've talked to says it's one of the hardest languages to learn. Of the polite words I know, "kiitos" is easy to use, but the grammar behind the use of "laulaa" has me confused so far. I mean, I've gotten to where I recognize different tenses when I've heard or seen them, but aside from knowing "Oh, that's something to do with singing!" I still have to depend on Google Translate for anything else.

 

Haha! I have a friend whose husband is from the USA, unfortunately I've forgot which state, but anyway, he doesn't like to live here, to be honest, and he still doesn't speak Finnish, at least not in the public. Apparently my friend won the fight about their country of residence and I'm quite happy she did. :D I think I've heard Finnish is indeed quite hard to learn for a native English speaker, though not as hard as Chinese or Japanese, for example. Actually, our verb conjugation is relatively simple if compared to all languages on Earth! I can still feel your pain because I'm currently taking a beginner course in Latin in my university and all those cases and verb forms are a nightmare for me... and in Finnish we have over twice as many cases as in Latin!

 

Well, here's a proof (from February 2019) that we do sometimes get a decent amount of snow even in Helsinki...

20190208_122028.thumb.png.1f5f636878bf17b5f03f229a521aa100.png

 

And to get back to Halloween, here are my pumpkin lanters from last year. 🎃

IMG_3062.thumb.png.42b914e66f56820bbe6a925200da3745.png

 

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1 hour ago, Varislapsi said:

And to get back to Halloween, here are my pumpkin lanters from last year. 🎃

IMG_3062.thumb.png.42b914e66f56820bbe6a925200da3745.png

 

 

Aww, they're adorable! Here's me in the Handmaid costume I made a couple years back. I keep wearing it every year because I sold my sewing machine before the last time I moved and I don't like store-bought costumes.
 

IMG_20171031_190440.jpg

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2 hours ago, catstaff said:

 

Aww, they're adorable! Here's me in the Handmaid costume I made a couple years back. I keep wearing it every year because I sold my sewing machine before the last time I moved and I don't like store-bought costumes.
 

IMG_20171031_190440.jpg

 

Wow! That looks absolutely fantastic! I wish I'd had an oppurtunity to prepare and wear a costume. That said, I couldn't make anything like that. My mom made me some woderful costumes when I was little but I can't sew myself. Sewing the ribbons on my ballet slippers is the biggest challenge I can take. :D I wouldn't like store-bought costumes, either!

 

And thanks! Drawing and carving the designs is fun, but like you said, scooping the pulp out can be a mess.

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Those pumpkins look great, Varislapsi! I carved two pumpkins yesterday, but nothing so ambitious as your kitty faces!

 

I can't sew, either, but that costume really comes together well, catstaff! :) I agree, self-made costumes are way more interesting than the recycled store-bought themes. But that's true of all clothes in general, I think.

 

I'm planning to make some pumpkin pie this afternoon so it can chill overnight - my husband only likes pumpkin pie cold, for some reason!

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Tonight we're going to go look at some Halloween decorations from the safety of the car, and after Halloween is over we will definitely be stocking up on discount candy. :)

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The candles are a nice touch, Zircion! I can't get a great photo of mine, due to an old phone... but I carved mine into a three-fanged vampire face! Pie is in the oven and starting to smell good!

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Aniia said:

The candles are a nice touch, Zircion! I can't get a great photo of mine, due to an old phone... but I carved mine into a three-fanged vampire face! Pie is in the oven and starting to smell good!

 

 

Thanks, nice to hear!

I was too lazy to make a pie today, maybe tomorrow🐈

 

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My volunteers and I dressed up at work today. It's a lockdown weekend here so I have no other Halloween-y plans beyond getting the new eggs here and doing some breeding.

 

Screenshot_20201030-111142.thumb.jpg.2da0a1138b505756e14b63feb5a1083e.jpg

I'm front right in the skulls shirt.

 

 

Edited by Lagie

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I love it! My last job (before I was laid off due to injuries) wouldn't let us dress up, though we could put up small decorations

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Similarly to our Finnish friends, Halloween isn’t really a big deal here outside of companies wanting to sell stuff, and children and students embracing any reason to eat sweets and party. The elderly people grump about it because they feel it’s inappropriate, especially like this year when it’s on the same day as All Hallows’ Eve, which is a somber day of remembering your dead. I just came back from lighting candles at the graveyard and it’s beautiful with all the flickering candles in the snow, in the dark graveyard under the full moon.

However, I love Halloween! I’ve always loved folklore, scary stories, supernatural creatures, sweets AND pumpkins (our growing season is too short to get any more than the flowers 😢). Halloween is my jive!!!

I don’t expect to get any trick or treaters, not many families with small children live around here, and it's been strongly discouraged given the pandemic.

But you bet I’m going to enjoy some homemade carrot cake with spooky ghost sprinkles on top after dinner!

Edited by Ripan
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Yum, carrot cake! I've never made one, but I'd like to try!

 

We are cooking dinner for the household party later tonight, and wondering what to do about our neighbor. They like to burn logs in their fireplace, which wouldn't bother me except that the smoke from their fire comes back to cloud into our apartment. We've cleaned our own fireplace and put a wool thing inside above the damper to try and stop the smoke, but it doesn't seem to be working...

 

Now we are sealing up the gaps around the glass fireplace doors with duct tape to try and stop the smoke.

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Thanks @Aniia! I should also try making a pumpkin pie some day, it sounds so good but I've never even eaten it. I actually made a quick apple pie yesterday, with almonds and white wine, but that was basically because those wine leftovers had to be used up and it wouldn't have been a good idea to drink it all by myself. 😹 My mother kindly brought me some fresh groceries as I have to save to pay my rent next week so it was nice I could give her something in return.

 

I'm sorry to hear about the smoke, though. That's so weird! Sounds like something doesn't quite work like it should. Problems with one's neighbours can be so frustrating...

 

It's interesting for me to read what the Halloween is like there in the USA (and elsewhere in the world). And oh, I'd love some discount candy as well, or I'd rather take chocolate, but anyway. Or discounted pumpkins, I wonder if there will be any in my local stores this year because I've sometimes seen those even in my country. 🎃

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Your apple pie sounds interesting! I've never added wine to an apple pie before.

 

The smoke is odd. We looked at the roof plans, and it turns out everyone's chimney is separate, but the chimneys all exit adjacent to each other. Best we can figure is somehow the smoke is sinking down into our chimney. The neighbor has been friendly so far, but she's trying to heat her whole apartment with the fireplace (to save money on electric heat). With the way these buildings are constructed, that won't really work - but I'm not going to tell her that, I don't want to get into an argument. Hopefully our duct tape job will help.

 

Halloween is lots of fun! I'm a little biased though. See, my mother was very religiously fearful and made us sit quietly at home in the dark every Halloween. I wasn't able to go trick-or-treating until I was 17, when my friends took me out on what was their last year of trick-or-treating. Ever since then, even though I'm now too old for trick-or-treating, I get super into Halloween to make up for those lost years!

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Oh dear, I hope you find a solution to that. :( That's terrible you couldn't go trick-or-treating when you were younger, I really understand your excitement about Halloween now! In Finland we have an Easter tradition called virvonta; on Palm Sunday children dress as witches or even cats or bunnies and go around in the neighbourhood, trading decorated willow branches for chocolate eggs and candy. I'd be so dissapointed if I had missed that, I always had so much fun! Why isn't there anything like that for adults?? :D

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