Halloween !! I am going to eat my words ...
I have always been opposed to the Halloween concept!! Not that it is not a fun festival in the United States, but the concept of why it creates such fervor. The thing was originally an Irish festival(am not sure of this) to get blessed by spirits of our ancestors and I do not know if the Irish(or anyone else) spend so much effort and time celebrating Halloween as the Americans ! This is not surprising since Indians in America celebrate Indian festivals with more enthusiasm than in India. However, these festivals dont catch on with the international community like Halloween.
Have always had arguments with my wife saying "it is a bogus festival to encourage consumer spending". Seriously, americans spend upwards of a billion dollars on halloween paraphrenalia, that I wouldnt be surprised if there is a "pumpkin lobby" or "trick or treat lobby" or "costume lobby" in congress right now.
This year I was more open to Halloween simply because our family celebrated the navarathri Golu festival (which incidentally is at least a few hundred year old tradition in south india, if not more). We were invited to a wonderful Halloween/Diwali party today. One person per family was asked to carve a pumpkin for their kid(s).
My daughter had picked a really small pumpkin from a patch (as part of a field trip from her day care) and I didnt really have many options in terms of artistry here. But for the first time, I shut up and enjoyed the party !!
Next year, I plan to do a real masterpiece on a large pumpkin (Mona Lisa ? Last supper ?)... Okay, I admit that I have been suckered into this carving business..
In a few years, I intend to start a new American (International) tradition called Walloween where people carve water melons instead of pumpkins and the festival focuses on getting blessings from the "water gods". If I plan the merchandising right and appeal to the right market segment... just think of the possibilities !!!