Turns out it’s Halloween today. We’d sort of missed that, and were unprepared. Luckily only one gang of kids turned up and we found something for them in the corner of a cupboard.

But it all felt uncomfortable and weird rather than fun. How did it become OK to just go out and beg?

There is a somewhat similar tradition in Estonia kadripäev and mardipäev or St Catherine’s day and St Martin’s day, one for girls and one for boys. But the girls and boys who go out as kadrisandid or mardisandid give something in return. At the very least they sing: first behind the door, asking to be let in, and then more songs once they’re in. Traditionally they would also bless the household but I’m not sure how much of that is still done.

In fact I’m not sure if the tradition is still alive… perhaps it’s been drowned by Halloween. I remember doing this when I was around 10 years or so, and I remember receiving kadrid later than that. But now I’ve been away for 15 years of course.

In any case, it was fun to get a visit from a gang of kadrid. It was a show. The family would gather in the hallway and listen. These kids came, got their candy and left. Where’s the fun in that?