Today it’s the 31st of October – Halloween! But of course in the currently escalating pandemic crisis, there cannot be a proper Halloween party. And it’s even a Saturday, so it would have been ideal for partying. Such a shame …

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not missing all the commercialization of Halloween. In fact it was that very over-commercialization that had put me off Halloween for most of my life. It wasn’t until 2014 that my wife and I threw our very first Halloween party ever (and I hadn’t even been to any sort of Halloween party anywhere before then). It was good fun and in the following years we upped our game by having dark-tourism-related themes. So in 2015, after we had been on a five-week-long trip to the USA in the summer, for Halloween the theme was naturally ‘Americana’. After our long summer trip to Russia in 2017, Russia and the former Soviet Union became that year’s Halloween theme. And inspired by our short trip to St Helena as part of our African summer travels in 2018, the theme was ‘islands’.

These themes were reflected in the decorations and also the home-made food we served our guests – as well as, of course, the “fancy dress” that guests turned up in (and some showed immense creativity!). I can’t really post photos of guests here, but instead I can give you pumpkins!

The first two Halloweens we had a pumpkin “puking” guacamole. We had looked up potential Halloween food design ideas and that was one of the things that came up on an American website. As Tex-Mex food fitted the Americana theme too, the same design reappeared in 2015 as well. Here’s one of them (same as the lead photo above):


guacamole-puking Halloween pumpkin


For the Russian-themed Halloween, I adapted the pumpkin with a Stalin tash and Soviet fur hat, and instead of guacamole this pumpkin puked “винегрет” (‘vinegret’, from the French ‘vinaigrette’), which is a beetroot-potato-gherkin-based salad that is an absolute classic of Russian cuisine:


vinaigrette-puking Russki Halloween pumpkin


We also had a (small) pumpkin for the islands-themed Halloween party, put a woolly hat with the flag of Timor Leste (East Timor) on top, and on this occasion the pumpkin puked “mie goreng”, that Indonesian fried noodles staple with shredded fried egg on top:


mie-goreng-puking pumpkin for the islands theme on Halloween 2018


We contemplated having a little Halloween party for just the two of us, but then decided that that would be just too sad. Also the question would have been: what theme? Corona? Or a reference to our short trips in the summer to Brno, Venice and Switzerland? Had we had a pumpkin, what could it have puked this year? Some Czech stodge? Venetian polenta? Or Swiss cheese fondue? It’s probably better to let the idea go …

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Dark Tourism & Pianos

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