halloween

Kids Activities: Little Pim Halloween Coloring Pages

Happy Halloween! Celebrate this spooky holiday by printing out these free, full-size Little Pim coloring pages (click the images above to open the printable PDFs). Little Pim is all dressed up to go out trick or treating this Halloween. Share your Halloween celebrates with us by using the #LittlePim on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter! We hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween. Happy coloring!

Halloween Around the World

Halloween is just around the corner! If you live in the United States, that probably means costumes, candy, and possibly some pranks. But what is Halloween like in other parts of the world?

Photo credit: Muffet / Foter / CC BY

Ireland

The holiday most likely has its origins in Ireland’s ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people wore costumes and lit bonfires to frighten away the spirits. In Ireland today, many people celebrate Halloween by dressing up and lighting bonfires like the ancient Celts did. Much like kids in the United States, Irish children go trick-or-treating and attend Halloween parties with family and friends. They play games like “bobbing for apples” and “snap-apple,” where you hang an apple on a string and jump up to see if you can bite it. And of course, some Irish children play tricks on their neighbors. You can make barnbrack, a popular Halloween confection in Ireland, using this recipe

Photo credit: LlGC ~ NLW / Foter / No known copyright restrictions

Mexico

In Spanish-speaking countries like Mexico, the celebration of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) begins on the evening of October 31st. Many families make altars honoring their loved ones who have passed, which can include photographs, candles, and even the deceased’s favorite foods and drinks. On November 2nd, the whole family has a picnic to celebrate and reminisce about the lives of their loved ones. They eat treats such as breads and sweets shaped like skulls and skeletons. You can make your own delicious sugar skulls by following this recipe!

Photo credit: uteart / Foter / CC BY

Wherever you are in the world, we hope you have lots of fun this Halloween!

International Halloween Traditions For Kids

Most people associate Halloween with the United States, but did you know that it actually began as a Celtic holiday and is still celebrated throughout the world? According to the National Endowment for the Humanities, the day was originally called Samhain, or "Summer's End," and marked the end of the harvest season for Celtic farmers. October 31st was considered a day when the normally strict boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead were blurred, and the ghosts of those who had passed away came back to earth.

The traditions of costumes, parades, and playing scary pranks and tricks are rooted in ancient practices as well. By wearing masks and costumes, people would try to fool the spirits into believing they were also ghosts, so the spirits would leave them alone on Halloween night.

But celebrations of the dead aren't limited to the ancient Celts and modern Americans. According to Education Magazine, countries all over the world hold their own similar festivals to honor the dead.

Mexico: Perhaps the most famous outside of the American holiday, Mexicans celebrate Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, on November 1st and 2nd. It's a time for family and friends to remember departed loved ones. Day of the Dead bread, or "Pan de Muerto," is a quintessential dish made during Dia de los Muertos. Learn to make you own here.

Great Britain: The British celebrate by partying in costumes from October 31st to November 5th, Guy Fawkes Night. On this night, the Brits commemorate the infamous British traitor Guy Fawkes by lighting bonfires.

Ireland: Honoring its Celtic heritage, Halloween is still celebrated today in Ireland. Barmbrack, a sweet fruit bread, is traditionally served on Halloween night. Check out a great recipe here.

China: The Chinese festival of Teng Chieh is a Lantern Festival that closes off Chinese New Year celebrations. Lanterns formed like dragons, swans, and other animals are hung in the streets or near households, protecting people from evil and lighting the way for wandering spirits. Check out this easy craft so your little one can make his or her own lantern for Halloween.

Japan: In Japan, the Obon Festival is celebrated in the summer to honor the spirits of the dead. During the festival, is lit each night to guide a spirit to its family’s location so that the dead can return to where they were born.

Halloween is a great time to introduce your child to some of the other cultural festivities celebrated by children around the world. Introduce some of these global traditions to your kids, and check out our Halloween board on Pinterest for fun crafts, recipes and cultural activities you can share with your little ones this Halloween.

photo credit: Ariel Ophelia via photopincc

5 DIY Halloween Costumes with Global Appeal

Looking for some inspiration for your family's Halloween costumes this year? Pull out the globe and give it a spin. With a little inspiration from our great DIY globally-inspired options below, and a few accessories, your kids’ costumes will be United Nations worthy in no time.

1. Harajuku Girls, Japan -- Here’ an opportunity to open up the costume chest and go wild. Fun-loving Harajuku girls are known for their creative style of dress and love of all things kitsch --- to channel their irrepressible style into a unique Halloween costume, think layers: Start with striped knee socks, layered crinoline skirts, and a Hello Kitty tee or the like. Then add HIGH pigtails tied with bows and layer on the plastic accessories. Add some glittery makeup and you’re ready to rock the trick-or-treat block.

2. Gondolier, Italy – This is an easy and memorable costume. To start, your little gondolier will need a striped shirt and black pants, plus a round-rimmed hat (party stores often have inexpensive Styrofoam versions). Take a trip to the trim department of the craft store for thick red ribbon (about 6 inches across) for a waist sash and a thinner red ribbon to tie around the base of the hat. Then add a broom, small oar, or even a long dowel to stand in for an oar. Extra points for crooning “Amore”.

3. Frida Kahlo, Mexico – The beloved Mexican artist had a unique look that’s easy and fun to recreate. Pick up a felt mustache at the party store and stick between the eyebrows (conversely, use an eyebrow pencil to create a uni-brow). Tuck brightly colored silk, paper, or plastic flowers in a wreath around the hair. Add a fringed shawl around the shoulders and wear a peasant skirt and brightly colored shirt. Palette optional.

4. Ninja, Japan – A comfy, easy, and easily recognizable costume for boys or girls. Start with black pajamas, black sweats, karate gear, or a black fitted tee and soft pants. Take a plain black head scarf and wrap tightly around the head and covering the brows, and then another around the mouth and chin. At the craft store, purchase red masking tape and the use it to create a criss-cross pattern on lower legs and arms. Add a red sash, and you’re ready to stealthily sneak down the block.

5.French chef– Start with largest white chef hat you can find (party stores sell inexpensive paper ones you can personalize with glitter and markers to say FRANCE or the fine cuisine destination of your choice). A white chef’s coat would be perfect here, but you can improvise with a white karate top, or even long sleeve white tee and a large white apron. Tie a red kerchief tied around the neck, the use plastic measuring cups or spoons or plastic food to accessorize.  Bon appetit!

A Message from Little Pim after Hurricane Sandy

Dear Friends of Little Pim,We wanted to let you know that we made it through the storm ok, and the office has not been damaged. Our site is still up, and our warehouse is shipping product, operating off a generator, to parts of the country not affected by Sandy. We are New Yorkers! It takes more than a little wind and surge to ruffle our feathers, but this WAS and is, a big one. My family was evacuated from our apt in Battery Park City and we just returned yesterday after two days, happy to find minimal neighborhood damage despite the 14 foot waves that washed over our streets. We are now one of the only neighborhoods below 34th street with power, and feel very lucky to have it.

Thank you for your support and patience as we try to get back to work this week. The MTA is still closed, and 4 of our 7 staffers have no power. The office (on 17th street) has no power and will not re-open until it does. Those of us who have electricity and Internet at home are working from home when we have Internet access, which is intermittent. Please excuse us if we don't answer emails in a timely way, as we are juggling whichever business issues are most pressing.

We hope you and your families and friends in the metropolitan area were out of harm's way and our hearts go out to the many families with young children who are still caught up in the aftermath of Sandy, with no power and much uncertainty about the days to come.

Thank you for being part of our extended Little Pim family. And Happy Halloween. We will all make sure our kids still have a wonderful Halloween and will remember this as,  "that Halloween", when everything was upside down. And then, life goes on. C'est la vie. Please read my P.S. for how you can help.

Best,

Julia Pimsleur Levine

p.s. We will suffer a serious loss of income in the days and weeks following the hurricane, as will millions of local businesses. For small businesses like ours this can have a huge and lasting impact. As you probably know, New York and its environs comprise one of our largest markets and sales may seriously drop off as people focus on recovery. If you have friends far from the hurricane's path, please encourage them to buy Little Pim on our site as a gift for a child under six this year. Thank you, every gift set counts!  Use HALLOPIM for 15% off.

Halloween food around the world

For most American families, Halloween "treats" mean one thing: candy – mounds of bite-size morsels heaped into kids' bags in exchange for that magic phrase: "Trick or treat!" Other cultures, however, celebrate All Souls' Day, All Saints Day or Dia de Los Muertos (Nov. 1 and 2), from which our Halloween (All Hallows Eve) is derived, with different sorts of treats. Why not expand your family's cultural horizons this Halloween by trying some of these traditional sweet treats from around the globe?

Here are a few ideas about food from Halloween around the world - about what people eat in other countries, and recipes to go with them.

Soul cakes (England and Ireland): These sweet, round cakes were traditionally given out in England and Ireland on All Saints Day or All Souls' Day during the Middle Ages to those who went door-to-door saying prayers for the dead in what may be the forerunner to today's trick-or-treating. They can be made with raisins and currents and aromatic spices like allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. (Soul cake recipe)

Fave dei morti (Italy): In Italy, All Souls' Day may be celebrated with delicate cookies (sometimes white, brown or pink) – made with almonds and covered with sugar – called Fave dei Morti or Ossei dei Morti, whose name translates to "Beans of the Dead" or "Bones of the Dead." (Fave dei morti recipe; Ossi dei Morti recipe)

Pan de Muerto (Mexico):  This soft sweet bread is a Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) tradition in Mexico, sometimes eaten at the grave of a loved one or placed on an altar. It may be flavored with orange zest or decorated with a teardrop or bones, perhaps placed in a circle to represent the cycle of life. Some people even mold the bread into animals, angels or other evocative shapes. (Pan de Muerto recipe)

Guagua de pan (Ecuador): These "bread babies" – sweet rolls molded and decorated to look like small children or infants – are part of the Day of the Dead tradition in parts of South America. Often made of wheat and sometimes filled with sweet jelly, they may be exchanged as gifts between families and friends or used ceremonially. (Guagua de pan recipe)

So what are you waiting for? Put down those miniature chocolate bars and start baking. These tasty treats will not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but your appetite for cultural exploration as well.

Halloween Around the World

Halloween traditions from around the world:

Mexico.

In a lot of Latin American countries, All Soul’s Day on November 2nd is a recognized religious holiday, but nowhere is it celebrated quite like Mexico.  In Mexico, the day is known as Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead).  Some traditions – such as kids dressing up in traditionally skeleton motifs and eating  an awful lot of candy – may be familiar to those who celebrate Halloween, but Dia de los Muertos is actually a rich mixture of Aztec and European tradition.

 

The Aztec festival was a week-long celebration when the souls of the departed would return to the realm of the living, but with the arrival of the Spanish, the colonial rulers of Mexico tried to co-opt this festival into the celebration of the Catholic All Saints Day and All Souls Day.

Japan

The festival of the dead in Japan is held in August rather than October, and is known as Obon.  As with many such festivals, this day commemorates the return of the dead to the land of the living, but unlike Halloween, the returning spirits are not malevolent. On Obon, the spirits of the dead return to visit their loved ones, and many Japanese Buddhists prepare special food for the returning spirits, which they place in temples and in their homes.  Obon is also known as the Festival of Lanterns, because the celebration ends with families sending paper lanterns down Japan’s rivers, to guide the spirits back to the realm of the dead until the next year.

China

In China, the Hungry Ghost Festival also features use of lanterns but rather than a single day, the festival lasts an entire month, during which time the souls of the dead are free to roam the earth. Rather than guiding benevolent spirits back to the realm of the dead, the lanterns are used to ward off potentially malevolent spirits.   Like in Japan, food and gifts are also offered to family members who have passed.  Offerings are also made to other, unknown wondering spirits to placate them, and prevent them from coming into a household and brining bad luck.

Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine

In certain countries in the Middle East, Arab Christians celebrate Eid il-Burbura (Festival of Saint Barbara) on December 4th. As with Halloween in the US, children dress up in costume and go from door to door.  The holiday has its origins in the story of Saint Barbara, who took on many different disguises in order to evade the persecution. According to the story, Saint Barbara ran through a freshly planted wheat field while fleeing the Romans, which grew instantly to cover her path and help her escape.  Today, seeds are planted ceremonially, and harvested in time for Christmas when they are used to decorate the nativity scene below Christmas trees.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman

Qarqu’an is a traditional holiday that has existed for hundreds of years, and is celebrated annually in many Arabic countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman.  During the month of Ramadan, children dress in traditional clothing and gather in front of homes to sing in order to receive candies, sweets, and nuts.  Although similar to Halloween, the tradition is not connected to death, but is rather is intended to spread happiness and affection among adults and children.

Contest: How Do You Say "Halloween"?

Halloween is right around the corner & we're in a spooky mood! How about you? What will you be dressing up as this year? We'd love to see what your little ones in their Halloween costumes.

For this week's contest, either post a photo of your child in a Halloween costume (from this year or previous years) on our Facebook wall or email it to info@littlepim.com.

One person will win either Spanish Bop or French Bop! Both CDs feature three original songs by the popular children's band, Milkshake.

Below are a few Spanish and French Halloween vocabulary words to get you in the spirit of the season!

Spanish

    • una arana - spider

 

  • aterrador - scary

 

 

  • una bruja - witch

 

 

  • una calabaza - pumpkin

 

 

  • caramelos - candy

 

 

French

    • un chat noir - black cat

 

  • une chauve-souris - bat

 

 

  • une citrouille - pumpkin

 

 

  • une araignée - spider

 

 

  • un balai - broom

 

 

  • des bonbons - candy

 

 

*photo from coolhalloweencostumesforkids.net