Happy belated Halloween and happy November everyone! I know I’m a bit late with the spooky celebrations but I did manage to have some Halloween fun in Norway that is worth sharing.
The first, rather serendipitously, festive event happened when I had to go to class on Thursday morning (Thursday the 26th of October I mean). We were to be having class at the church in Bø, which my friend Marina and I were kind of grumbling about because we had already had class there once before. However, I’m so glad we went this second time because this experience was nothing like the first.
We had been informed by our professor before we headed out that the lecture would be shorter because there was going to be a funeral at the church and we didn’t want to be in anyone’s way. We left from the college together as a class, and as we walked up the hill toward the church we noticed how foggy it was. We could barely see much into the distance because the fog was so thick. The trees ahead of us looked more like silhouettes and the outline of the church seemed to dissolve into the sky. As we approached the church, I could see a raven perched at the very top of the steeple. It watched us shuffle by and cawed into the grey morning air. We passed a man navigating a casket through the gravestones. Instead of being grumpy and tired I was suddenly feeling quite in the Halloween spirit.
We didn’t linger outside too long because our lecture was inside the church. Our professor was so darn cool, I wish I could have recorded his lecture. He spoke to us all about when the church was built and also about the history of Norway during that time. He even sang to us momentarily, giving us a sample of the epic poems that had inspired the art designs on the church’s walls. The church was built sometime in the high Middle Ages (I wish I would have written down the exact dates he mentioned!) and full of history.
By the way, I should mention that there are two churches. The newer church and the older church. We were inside the older church. Those images above are from inside the older church. I especially loved the Memento Mori symbol, obviously because it had the spooky vibes.
After the lecture we headed back to the college and then Marina and I walked back to Breisås for some downtime before our Norwegian language class in the evening. What an unexpectedly festive start to the day!
Being guided by the Halloween spirit, later that day I messaged a few of my American friends if they wanted to carve pumpkins with me on Friday (the next day) because I finally saw some pumpkins at the grocery store. I couldn’t imagine NOT carving pumpkins when I now knew they were there. I vowed to carve by myself if no one else was interested. Thankfully my friends Jason and Jacob were free Friday night, so we agreed to meet the next day at the store to buy our pumpkins and have a little Halloween get together.
I bought some chips with great Halloween packaging (go Norway!), Halloween themed napkins, and baked some brownies with little orange pumpkin sprinkles on top. We took over my kitchen as the pumpkin carving station because none of my housemates were around. Jason brought his laptop with him and plugged it into the TV so we could watch scary movies as we carved. We watched 1922 the new movie on Netflix based on the Stephen King novella. Very creepy even though we weren’t fully paying attention as we cut and hollowed our pumpkins. Then by my request, we watched It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown because it’s one of my all time favorite Halloween shows.
After a few hours, our pumpkins finally had faces! In the picture above it’s Jacob’s pumpkin, Jason’s pumpkin (who he named Dan), and my pumpkin. I don’t know of a better way to celebrate Halloween while in Norway!
Around 10pm I was very sleepy so I kicked them out. Well, in reality they politely left. I’m so glad they were willing and able to carve pumpkins with me. It made me feel at home for a few hours.
And that was the end to my Halloween festivities! To be honest I’m looking forward to Christmas now, but am restraining myself from listening to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. I’ll try to hold out until December 1st but we’ll see how that goes. I’m in charge of planning a Thanksgiving get together with some of the American students and one of the professors at the college so that is another fun event I’m looking forward to. I’ll miss being home with my family for Thanksgiving but celebrating with friends is the next best thing while being away from home.
I also have some traveling coming up. My brother and I are going to Bergen for a weekend and then after that we will be traveling to Rauland to visit our relatives. Of course sometime after Rauland and before December 18th (when I fly home) I’ll want to spend a day or two in Oslo with my brother. So there will definitely be some blog posts in the future.
That’s all I have for now. Thanks for reading.