Hi everyone! As part of my Fall series, Katie has been gracious enough to guest post on the different Fall traditions of England vs. the U.S. Enjoy! Take it away, Katie!
Hi there, The Chronicles of Chaos readers! I'm Katie and I blog over at A Brit and her Yank. I'm originally from England and I moved to the States six years ago to be with my American husband, Kevin. I'm in my last year of my Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology, and can't wait to graduate and see where this crazy life takes us!
When Mia said she was looking for people to guest post about Fall, I jumped at the chance. I haven't always loved Fall as much as I do now. When I was younger I loved summer. The heat and the sunshine were something that seemed rare in England. So I would bask in the glorious summer days. Now that I live in the midwest, the summer heat and humidity have a way of getting old, very quickly. So Fall has fast become my favourite season. There are some big differences in the type of Fall activities I participate in here in America and the autumn activities I did in England. Let's do a little breakdown:
(because quite frankly this definitely impacts the activities you can do)In England: Autumn was always a season that reminded me of cool, rainy days with slick, wet leaves on the ground. Wellies (wellington boots, I think in the USA they are called rain boots) were the ultimate fashion shoe. OK, I lie. They were never fashionable. But they were a necessity.
In the United States: Autumn days in the midwest are generally dry and cool. The flip flops are retired, but cute ballet flats are back in. Leaves lie crunchy on the ground ready to be jumped on (or am I the only one that goes out of my way to tread on the perfect crunchy leaf?)
In England: When I was growing up, Halloween wasn't that big a deal. Instead, my family were all about Guy Fawkes night- affectionately known as Bonfire night. It is always such a fun night. On the 5th of November (or the weekend before or after) my family (and whole neighborhoods) would celebrate Guy Fawkes night.
Before I go into the details of what this night involves, lets do a brief history lesson about Guy Fawkes. Because I'm not all that well versed in history, I will do what any good Graduate student would do: Wikipedia it.
According to Wikipedia, the history of Guy Fawkes night began in 1605, when Guy Fawkes was arrested after a 5 November Gunpowder plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and assassinate King James I. As people around London celebrated that the plot had failed, and King James had survived, they lit bonfires. Eventually, this turned into a tradition of bonfires and fireworks on 5th November, with young children making a "Guy" out of straw and pillow sheets and then asking "penny for the Guy."
As a child, I would always go to my Gran and Grandad's house to spend Bonfire night with my cousins, aunts, uncles and other extended family. We would watch fireworks, burn a bonfire and enjoy the crisp night air. Us kids were given sparklers, and enjoyed the soup and home made toffee that my Gran made. It was always a wonderful time with good food and great laughs (like the time my cousin almost caught her fake nails on fire with a sparkler).
In America: of course, Halloween is the BIG thing here. But for me, my activities for fall in America are things that I had never done until I moved here. They include:
Walking around historic towns in our area and seeing all the scarecrows that are placed outside of the shops. They are so cute and people have obviously worked hard on them.
Pumpkin picking and carving: I had never done this before I moved to America. Shocking, I know! Now Kevin and I have a tradition each fall to go to our local pumpkin patch and pick out a pumpkin each. Then we come home, draw an elaborate design on the pumpkin and try and carve it. We pick out all the seeds, clean them off and then roast them in the oven with a little bit of olive oil and sea salt- delicious!
Eating my own body weight in candy corn- seriously they are like food of the gods to me! Packed full of sugary goodness, these candy were never available in England when I was growing up (in fact I'm not sure they are now?) so you can bet I go through a few bags of these each Fall. Yeah, my diet just went out the window.
So there you have it readers, the breakdown of Fall activities USA vs England. Stop by my blog and say hi! I would love to hear from you and what your favourite Fall activities are. And of course, a special thanks to Mia for giving me my very first guest post.