Market Day & Pumpkin Carving in China

My favorite time as a teacher overseas was the time around the holidays. Regardless of what your opinions are on Halloween, I think it's safe to say that any time there is candy, dressing up & carving pumpkins involved, it's fun & kids like it! It was even more fun for me to live Halloween through the eyes of my kids. For most of them, the parties we held in their classes were the first Halloween parties they'd ever attended. The pumpkins we carved were the first they'd ever carved. There's something special about being apart of that. Part of our tradition with our after school kids was to hold a Market Day & Halloween party around Halloween time. We taught in our home several days a week after school. These kids became like our own. DSC00402DSC00400
We gathered pumpkins for these parties for weeks. Among all of our classes & all of our kids, we needed about 20 for everyone to have one. We even drove way out into the villages, looking for pumpkins, to which we found none. Finally, we found a market just down the street from us, that sold the little pumpkin pie pumpkins, so we made a deal with a guy to carry to our house a crate of 20. I won't say how much money we spent on them but let's just say that we've realized that the $3 pumpkin bins of huge pumpkins sitting outside our grocery store here in Texas is a God send. It's funny how your normal changes, right? Our normal was lugging pumpkin pie pumpkins home for a gajillion yuan. We're still in awe over all the conveniences of America.
 Part of our Halloween Party day was to have a Market. As a reward system our students earned paper dollars over the semester & were able to spend it at market day. We stocked the table with tons of goodies, like; candy, toys, note pads, pencil sharpeners, stickers, etc. Kids go crazy for fun school supplies, don't they? In China, they have the best school supplies. Everything is shaped like food or animals. DSC00259
In addition to Market Day & pumpkin carving, the kids were supposed to dress up in a costume. They did pretty good with what's available in China. We also had some delicious pumpkin bread & fresh whipping cream together, both of which they'd never had. It was a pretty fun party, I think. Since we had several classes, we have several pictures & groups of students. I'm bummed we don't have pictures of all our classes but I'm still cherishing these. I miss our kiddos so much. But I have another little one in my life now, Sophie! And we've carved our pumpkin, too. :) DSC00261DSC00263DSC00265DSC00271
Teaching them all about carving pumpkins.DSC00273DSC00274
Voila! Pumpkins carved! DSC00283DSC00431DSC00433DSC00422

I thought they all turned out pretty good. The pumpkin carving kits here in the States are blowing my mind this year. Those little serrated knives are amazing. If we could go back, I'd have my mom send me a ton. As you know, when carving pumpkins with kids, the adults do most of the real carving. My hands were pretty raw in some places using a regular knife for 10+ pumpkins. I can hardly believe how easy it is when you have that little kit!
Do you have any fun Halloween traditions? post signature

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