Friday, November 2, 2012

A Macedonian/American Halloween Celebration

So once again I disappeared for a little while- the ghosts, ghouls, and witches of Halloween captured me and took me off to Halloweentown: Macedonian/American style. A few weeks before Halloween a few of the 7th grade girls approached me asking if I could organize something for Halloween. I said, sure, and little did I know what I was getting myself into! I decided to do Halloween activities for the 5th-8th graders and soon realized that that meant about 400 kids. I knew there was no way to do one big event for them all, since there wasn't much time to plan, so I organized three after school activities. On Monday the kids were going to make Halloween decorations, Tuesday we would play Halloween BINGO, and Wednesday we would have a little Halloween party. I had originally wanted to carve pumpkins because that is a big part of American Halloween, but I didn't really want to have to deal with kids and knives and be responsible for them. I decided I would let 50 kids come during two time slots each day, meaning 100 kids a day. However, when it came time for kids to sign up, we had a complete disaster and my counterpart and I looked at each other and realized it wasn't going to work. We quickly changed it to Halloween BINGO on Monday and Tuesday and an evening costume contest and pumpkin contest on Wednesday. Doesn't sound too hard, but this was now less than one week before Halloween.

Long story short, I worked with two other teachers and we managed to put together an alright 3-day Halloween celebration for the kids at my school as well as some community members too. There were lots of hiccups along the way and lots of things we would do different, and will do differently next year for what has already been decided a bigger, better, and more organized town wide Halloween celebration.

5th graders eager to win BINGO!
8th grade girls hoping to win some prizes.
BINGO was standing room only- over 175 kids came to play BINGO over the course of two days.
7th grade girls looking for a "black cat", "vampire", or "mad scientist".
7th grade boys sitting three on two chairs because there wasn't enough space.

6th graders waiting intently for the next word.
Being a PCV makes you an automatic celebrity. My picture was taken with almost every kid there- in groups and individually.
The kids here pretty much only know one costume- ghoul/witch/zombie combined. But they sure looked good!
I was pretty impressed by the costumes my kids came up with.
We got about 20 pumpkins, which was way more than I thought! The one with green hair won 2nd place.
The cool thing these kids did, which I never did in the US, is lots of them attached chains to the pumpkin so they could be carried along during our Halloween parade through the streets.
My three fabulous, amazing, wonderful, 8th graders who served as MCs during the event. Despite the microphone not coming last minute so no one could hear them, they were fantastic!
My other helper of the night- a 7th grader who was willing to jump in and do whatever was necessary.
Kids lined up for the costume contest.
Somewhere between 100 and 150 kids participated in the costume contest.
My favourite part of the costumes the kids wore was that it was all just stuff they had at home. They don't really sell Halloween costumes here, so the kids had to be extra creative.
More costume contest kids.
The winner of the best costume. Those are actual zippers attached to her face.
This girl appeared just after the judging for the costume contest had taken place, otherwise I think she definitely would have taken the prize for scariest costume.
Batgirl and Candygirl
Overall, I think I had close to 500 kids come to my Halloween activities and a fair number of citizens came out to watch the Halloween parade. I call it, despite the mishaps, a successful event, and one I am so glad is over!

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