18 October 2010

Anticipatory celebration elation...

There is a Mexican Spanish phrase that I like to use and today it seems more appropriate than ever because it is both literal as well as figurative. The phrase is "Ya está la calabaza". The literal translation is "The pumpkin is already in place" and the the figurative meaning is "Everything is all set", or "It's ready to go", or as George W. Bush might say, "Mission Accomplished".

Over the weekend I bought several jack-o-lanterns made from "barro" (clay or terracotta) and gave them to my wife, Gina, as a surprise. Judging from the amount of hugs and kisses that I received in return it was a good move. You can see "calabazas" in the photo below. One thing that I noted is the difference that exists between Mexican Halloween Pumpkins and Gringo Halloween Pumpkins. In Mexico all of the jack-o-lanterns and ghosts and goblins and monsters, etc., are very happy. This is in contrast to the menacing grimace that you see on many of the Halloween creatures in the U.S.

When I first came to Mexico there was no sign of Halloween but little by little thanks to Walmart and the Chinese, the spirit of Halloween crept over the land. Many older people are still afraid that Halloween will supplant "El Día de Los Muertos" (The Day of the Dead) but I don't think that will happen. The Mexican people are very clever and they have found a way to adapt Halloween to their own culture and by doing so I think they have enhanced their traditional activities and made a nice holiday even longer and better, especially for kids. The kids just love Halloween. I know because I did when I was a kid, so why not?

So, are we really all set for Halloween? Not quite, but we will be by the time our bell rings and the children shout...

¡Queremos Halloween!


GlorV1 said...

Hi Bob. We really don't do Halloween. Around here the people do Trick or Treat so there is no need to put out stuff and buy lots of candy etc. Parents take their kiddies to t or t in a better area. We don't mind because you never know who you are opening up the door too. At my friends street about 15 blocks or so, her block sits outside and the kids just t or t on that specific street. I like your pumpkins at the doorstep. Oh by the way, voting day over here is November 2nd. and Dia de los Muertos falls on that day too. Get it??? :)

AnaVar said...

Cute pumpkins! I'm so busy this year that I don't have time to buy any halloween decoration :( But I love this holiday! Enjoy! AnaV.

Anonymous said...

We say.."The pumpkin is done" because we mexicans apply this phrase when something is ready to use, do, etc.

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.