Bali Halloween no Substitute for the Real Thing

Jetson and a pile of pumpkins
A whole lotta pumpkins

If you know about the good and bad spirits of the Balinese culture and religion and the demonic statues they create leading up to Nyepi, it is surprising that the Balinese don’t embrace Halloween.

We arrived back from a couple of weeks in North America, after seeing pumpkins and Halloween paraphernalia everywhere, to find no spooky trace of anything Halloween in Bali.

lamp bat
this was the extent of our house decoration

After recovering a little from the jetlag, we decided to follow the momentum we had gained in the US by having our own little family Halloween event, including some decorations, dressing up and carving.

spooky woods
With limited dress-up material, we got a little spooky

We have very limited dress ups to work with, so I will have to explain what we dressed as. Clare was a green witch (not the right face for it though!), Rob was the grim reaper, Jetson a minion, Casper the friendly ghost (of course) and Olive after a few costume changes dressed as a Balinese princess.

Carvable pumpkins are hard to find here, so we resorted to what we referred to as Balinese pumpkins. They were an adequate replacement, and were actually slightly easier to carve.

Olive's lantern
With a lack of pumpkins, we made do with the next best thing

The added bonus of eating the insides of our Balinese version was much tastier than the actual pumpkins. It was also less messy to get out, which Olive refused to do for the real pumpkin. Eeew!

jetsons lantern
Jetson with his Bali pumpkin

Although our Balinese version of Halloween was pretty lame, we did get to experience the build up to Halloween while in America, which was amazing, if not overwhelming. They certainly don’t do things by halves! The house we stayed at had blow up items all over the yard, headless horsemen, black cats, and gargoyles! As well as lit up pumpkins, skulls and eyeballs in the garden. We thought it might be scary for the kids but they were OK with it.

We were taken to a pumpkin farm, where we got to choose our own special pumpkins that we wanted to carve. There is a real art in choosing the right one – apparently! There were some giant pumpkins too, which were on display as part of the yearly pumpkin growing festival.

big pumpkin
big pumpkins is what they do well here

Jetson was feeling hungry (or is he just being silly again?)

Jetson the joker
Jetson living up to his nickname the joker

We took home our chosen pumpkins and had our first attempt at carving, which turned out pretty well we think.

proud Jetson
Jetson chose the design for this pumpkin

Proud Olive and her pussy cat pumpkin.

proud Olive
Olive was very proud of her first pumpkin carving effort

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