If you’ve heard “trick-or-treat” sung on your doorstep every Oct. 31, you’re probably from Canada, the United States or Ireland, countries that all participate in the annual costume parties, candy routes and pumpkin carving of Halloween.
For some international students at St. Thomas University who didn’t grow up with the tradition, like Victor Paura, it could be their first opportunity to celebrate the festivities. Paura’s a first-year STU student from Brazil.
“I’m probably going to go trick-or-treating like the little kid I am,” Paura said.
He said he also plans to spend the night pumpkin carving and going to a Halloween party.
One year, Paura had a Halloween party in Brazil with his friends where they dressed up in costumes. He said he and his friends spent the night saying, “Oh, we’re so American!”
He’s still deciding on a costume for this year, but he said a strong contender is a spacesuit and some crazy makeup.
Ana Beatriz Cordeiro, a second-year student from Brazil, said she’s never celebrated Halloween since it’s not a common tradition in Brazil.
“I always say to my friends, ‘I’ve never trick-or-treated, you need to take me,'” Cordeiro said.
“They say, ‘We’re really old to do that.'”
Cordeiro didn’t celebrate last year because she worked. But this year, she plans to go door-to-door to trick-or-treat.
Although Halloween’s not widely celebrated, the kids in her building in Brazil used to go apartment to apartment to trick-or-treat.
Cordeiro said when she came to Canada last year, she was surprised how excited everyone was. Her roommates decorated the house, even placing stickers over her window, and some students wore costumes to class.
“I thought, ‘This is crazy. This is a real thing. It’s what we see in movies. It’s real,'” Cordeiro said.
Paura said it’s the other way around and finds Brazilians sound more excited about Halloween than Canadians. Here, he said it’s not a big deal because it’s celebrated every year, while he said friends back in Brazil think it’s “so cool.”
Cordeiro said she’s amazed how Canadian students get to grow up with such a creative tradition. She said dressing up in costumes and pretending to be someone else is awesome because she doesn’t have that in Brazil.
“We had costume parties but [Canadians] have a date just for that. It is really amazing.”