Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Swiss Halloween

Pumpkins are a big deal here. Halloween is not. The grocery store I shop at had one display case of Halloween masks and hats, but that's it. But you will find pumpkins everywhere. Even the gas station sells pumpkins. But these are cooking pumpkins so they are much smaller than Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins. Here is Jack with his hand picked pumpkin, which we cooked and made some tasty pumpkin fondue with:
We were prepared to just skip Halloween with the rest of Switzerland, but then we met an English speaking couple when we were in Neuchatel a few weekends back and they invited us to celebrate Halloween at their village. They live right by the Valangin castle that Jack and I visited earlier this month and they told us that the castle was hosting a Halloween event for the kids. So I threw together a quick costume for Jack and we went.

Here is my little duct-tape Viking
Walking up to the castle:

Jack's battle cry:
 Cute little Viking
 At the castle there were several games for the kids and Jack was able to try most of them. Here he is shooting an arrow:
 Attempting to throw horse shoes
 Cheating at croquet:
 At the entrance to the castle door was a huge hedge maze
 The kids had a blast in here
 Of course, you have to mind the 100 foot fall on the other side of that short wall
 But I think these kids were used to it as no concerned parents were watching

 Jack's friend Matthew

 A band outside the castle door
 A view of the city below
 Inside the castle were more activities. Here are Luke and Jack painting a shield
 Here is the entrance to the pumpkin carving room
 Jack was frustrated that he couldn't use the knife to carve his own pumpkin
 There was also a "search and find" game for the kids that eventually led you into this room where candy coins were hidden in front of the pumpkin:

Back outside there was more exploring to do:

 Luke with the finished masterpieces.
 Jack's pumpkin which was carved directly from his scribbles
 Another view of the town

 After the castle, we went back to our friends house for the afternoon. Jack loved having another boy to play with!
That evening the village organized trick-or-treating for all the kids. It was very Swiss. All of the kids showed up at 5:30 and then they all went as a group to each door. This way you don't have to spend all night going back and forth to answer the door. You open it once, and give candy to 20 kids and you're done. Jack loved it!

 Jack was out within minutes into the drive home
Here is Jack's awesome pumpkin lit up. Who would have thought that the scribbles would look so cool... 
And there you have it. Our first Halloween in Switzerland.


  1. I LOVE the life you guys are getting to have over there. Thank you SO much for sharing pictures and descriptions.....it is so great to read.

    God bless you guys!

  2. so cool! I'd rather have that Halloween, hang out in a castle