Celebrating Halloween with parties and scary costumes is not tradition here in Sweden. We have a much more quiet remembering of our departed loved ones on (after several changes through history) the Saturday falling between 31 October and 6 November. We light candles on the graves, and that’s it, really. However, through popular media the awareness of how Halloween is celebrated in other countries has risen and a desire awoken, and now you can actually find the odd trick or treaters on your doorstep. I, who always loved dressing up, think this is great fun. Of course I would host a Halloween party!
My first idea of generic, not too scary Halloween decorations (we’d invited five families with kids between ages 3 months and three years) soon evolved into a Harry Potter wizarding world theme. It would have to be a low budget affair, but being the nerds we are, we have enough odd things to make a decent show of it, with some craftiness. Here are some pictures of my decorations and food. Once the guests arrived I pretty much forgot about my camera, so I never got pictures of their costumes or of the nice things they brought – everyone brought a dish or something to drink, and thus food was sorted.
We have a soft toy badger from IKEA: with yellow and black ribbons added I had a Hufflepuff mascot, as a memory of former school days – I was sorted into Hufflepuff House on Pottermore.
Potions ingredients, in bottles and jars. I especially liked the “salamander blood” (water with red and green food colouring and cooking oil) which moved in a decidedly icky, half clotted, bloodlike way.
There were also some quills, spellbooks (or was it really The Collected Works of Jane Austen, The Pilgrim’s Progress, a Bible from the 1870’s, and a book of male etiquette and skills from 1946?), and other odds and ends.
To keep our big marble mortar company we added a few small brass ones: clearly the material used in your mortar might affect your potions ingredients, and thus the potions.
Our post owl (a stuffed toy hubby got when he graduated High School), is patiently waiting to deliver a letter (a real one I received from a friend some time ago), perched on top of a kitchen cupboard. In the foreground some plants, meant for potions, drying.
The staircase was full of bats, made from egg cartons, and I cut out silhouettes of a cat and several mice, to give the children something fun to look at.
I’d made some bread, and some Cauldron Cakes. Both were yummy, but as little H was really loosing his patience with me preparing for the party, I was stressed and messed up a bit, and the Cauldron Cakes didn’t turn out as pretty as I’d have hoped. Better luck next time
The Cauldron Cakes were inspired by these two (1, 2), but I filled mine with mashed raspberries gently folded down in whipped cream. They were even more delicious a day or two after I made them.
All in all it turned out really well, considering the limitations I had as to time and economy. I hope in time to be able to turn our whole home into a wizarding house at Halloween, hiding from view everything that is decidedly Muggle. If I add to my stock of odd things and decorations a little at a time, I may get there in the end.
Unfortunately I didn’t get any good pictures of us. We were dressed as a wizarding family, of course. I’ll have a photo shoot when time and the weather allow, because I really love my witches’ bonnet, and it was a HSF challenge.