Halloween in Cordoba is not a big holiday. It is not like the USA where you all eat dinner early so you can get the kids out for trick-or-treating, only to come back and gorge on a huge bag of candy. It is not like Mexico that celebrates Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos). Oh no. Halloween in Cordoba, Argentina is something like Halloween-lite. For good or for bad, holidays and customs from the USA are slowly infiltrating the calendar here in Argentina -- not that Argentina needs any more holidays, its calendar shows the most public holidays of any country in the world. For real.
Some of the jardins (pre-schools) have dress-up day for the little kids, the major malls will have an event but for the last two years, we have only had about 8 trick-or-treaters each year (and in 2011 they came by our house on Sunday the 30th and Monday the 31st!)
Our friend who lives in Villa Belgrano and was born in the USA organized her neighborhood to have group trick-or-treating and graciously invited us to join. It was the first year for this activity and she sent out fliers to her neighborhood and had the kids meet in a park at 7 PM. As usually happens, some of the houses are friendly to the mob of trick-or-treaters and some are not. The ones that were didn't have much candy to give out and on several occasions, the little kids were pushed to the fringes of the mob and didn't get anything. It was fun nonetheless and for the first year, it was a great turnout. The group had a huge majority of witches, along with our WonderWoman (Mujer Maravillosa) and our friend's daughter, a beautiful Princess.
Afterwards, we ventured home, put out our two small jack-o-lanterns and had one group of kids come for candy. It was a good night and we tried to stress the fun and excitement of the night instead of the differences from what we know.
One of my gripes is that I really miss the chocolates in the USA for Halloween: mini candybars, Milk Duds, Tootsie Rolls and Reeses Peanut Butter cups, just to name a few. Here you have caramelos, which is a blanket term and encompasses hard candies, starburst-type square fruity candies and other various assortments of individually-wrapped candies. Not bad but not as satisfying to this North American as a handful of mini candybars! We do have several of the same US candybars here, but they are the full-size options. You have to be committed. Somehow 5-6 of the little ones doesn't feel as 'bad' as eating a full-size candybar does!
If we're still here next year, we'll continue to carve whatever pumpkins we can find. I really like the green, bumpy calabazas here because I like the color contrast between the skin and the flesh, and they look spookier to me. Check these guys out:
We might try something else for trick-or treating next year, maybe check out one of the mall's activities. Halloween seems to gain momentum here every year so who knows what our options might be to celebrate the season next year.