Halloween in the Netherlands
Halloween is not traditionally celebrated in the Netherlands. However, last year, some enterpreneuring neighbourhood children decided to come trick-or-treating anyhow. As we were caught completely offguard by it, we decided to compensate a little this year. The "grave" is marked by a head stone and an improvised wood cross, and it is lighted by an oil lamp hanging from the grave digger's shovel.
Even while preparing, we were already approached by two very confused young girls (about 6,7 years) who were playing outside on their bicycles, as they were wondering why we were burying someone in our front yard. Forutunately, we were able to avert a life-long trauma and convinced them of the fact that there was not really a real person in that grave, but that it was just pretend.
The groups that went door-to-door last year used the phrase "Je snoep of je leven", which directly translates to "Your candy, or your life". I guess they were goal-oriented and in theme :-). Anyhow, despite the fact that Halloween is not a local holiday, it seems to be growing more popular as an effect of popular American TV shows and movies.
As long as the commercial world doesn't get too carried away with it, I guess it is just as much fun as "Drie Koningen" (The Three Wise Men), on which day it is traditional for children to go door-to-door carrying lampoons to sing a little song in exchange for some candy.