Though I have seen children roaming the streets in Spider-man costumes, Halloween is not officially celebrated in Djibouti. Pumpkins are more greenish than orange, lopsided, and sold by the slice rather than whole. People do go door to door, but they’re looking for something other than a sugar rush. Sometimes I feel like I am wearing a costume, but that is more because my fashion tastes don’t naturally incline toward the sequins and sheer, sparkly material best worn to local weddings.
One of the things I like about Halloween is that it was, for me, a holiday masquerading as nothing more, even while all the revelers masqueraded. There was no pretending that Halloween was about more than candy. It was all about candy, especially the nasty yet mysteriously delicious candy corn. There was no religious scaffolding, no hymns, no advent season, no fasting. I know that Halloween represents more than candy for some people, but speaking from my own experience … candy, candy, candy.
Christmas is profound and Easter is joyful and Thanksgiving is rich with gratitude. And that is what I need from those holidays. Halloween is sugar, and for me, who still battles a raging sweet tooth, that’s what I wanted from this holiday.
In Djibouti, where there is no Halloween, our candy high celebrations have varied from doing nothing to creating our own tour of the city in search of candy.
Here are some of the highlights.
image credit: terren in virginia via flickr