Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Unbeknown to us, Halloween is primarily an American holiday. Throughout the week, I (Carla) have been asking our French friends, "What are you doing for Halloween?" The most common response was, "What am I doing for what?" Even a New Zealander acquaintance looked at me oddly when I wished him a Happy Halloween. I was a bit sad that we wouldn't get to see children dressed up in fun costumes and pass out candy this year, but luckily Bobby and I were invited to help with the Halloween children's party at the American Library in Paris. The children's librarian, Helen, asked me to help her with the party that the library puts on every year for the young members. Helen wanted me to teach the children an old traditional English Soul's Day song, Soul Cake. The lyrics to the simple song are:

A soul, a soul, a soul cake.
Please good Missus a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum or a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry.

I asked Bobby if he would like to accompany me on the accordion, and he readily agreed. We arrived at the library early to help set up for the party. Once the children showed up, we helped pass out candy, kept them occupied by helping them draw pumpkin faces and ghosts, and complimented them on their creative costumes. There must have been over 80 children there, ranging in age from infants to pre-teens.

After passing out candy, Helen started the program, which included some spooky Halloween book readings, a ghost-themed crossword puzzle, a costume contest, and learning the Soul Cake song. After learning the song, the kids did a 'tour' of the library, showing off their costumes to everyone while walking throughout the library. Bobby had to lead the way while playing accordion! He claims to have almost poked out the eyes of a few of the kids that got a little to close to him.

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