An American Style Halloween in Singapore

2013 post is here

I’ve mentioned before that I’d heard rumors surrounding trick or treating near the Singapore American School.  This year, I set out to verify them, and found a small slice of an American-style holiday, being celebrated in a way I recognized on the opposite side of the world from home.

According to expat boards, trick or treating takes place on two streets directly next to the Singapore American School from 6pm-8pm on Halloween exactly every year.  There were several years of posts that validated this, so I figured it was worth a shot.  We got in a cab to Woodlands (the part of Singapore where SAS is located, about a 20+ minute drive from our house–aka the other side of the country), and crossed our fingers that we’d find at least a few houses willing to let our kid trick or treat.

I was not prepared for the throngs of people.  Today had been lackluster in terms of people celebrating Halloween.  No other kids at school were dressed up (we sent her in a themed t-shirt, but had her costume in the bag), and no one on the street was sporting so much as a pair of devil horns.  Below is what we ended up sending E to school wearing, which to our view was at least Halloween-y if not full on costume, like we would’ve sent her to school wearing in the US.

But over in Woodlands, it was wall to wall people in costumes, plastic pumpkins full of candy, and houses decked out in their Halloween best.

For some, costumes consisted of a few props…totally understandable considering how expensive those props are in Singapore, and how hard it is to find a real costume, especially if you’re not a little kid.

Other people took the costume thing very seriously.  I loved this dragon (one of a pair) and was impressed by his/her commitment to the costume…it wasn’t the hottest night ever, but it was still in the mid 80’s easily.  I would have died in there.

Elanor was a bit tentative with the actual “trick or treat” part of trick or treating.  She loved getting treats, she loved people complimenting her on the costume, but her “trick or treats” and “thank you”‘s were very soft.  She also held my hand as we walked up and down the street, only letting go to approach a few houses on her own…which is not her normal MO, where I have to beg or bribe her to hold my hand.  So it’s clear she was a little overwhelmed by the whole experience, even though she loved it.  Tonight she asked when she gets to go trick or treating again.

This photo was actually taken yesterday (10/30) at the Zoo, but it’s one of the few full body shots I have of Ellie in her costume.  She was Rapunzel, of the most recent Disney variation.  We actually bought her a wig, but it was too big and she didn’t like it, so we scrapped it before we hit the first house.

Rhiannon came with us and slept through the whole event.  Her “costume” was a hastily made “frying pan” from construction paper.  She does not seem upset that her older sister is keeping all the candy for herself. She’s too busy being proud of having regained her birth weight of 2.5 kg, thanks to mama’s milk.

Once home, we introduced Ellie to the ritual of examining your haul.  Although it’s a small haul compared to what she would’ve gotten in the US (more houses to trick or treat from, some houses give larger candies, etc), it’s pretty impressive for a days away from three year old (and probably more than we’ll let her have, but don’t tell her).

The thing that Elanor liked the most was a temporary tattoo of a ghost.  Candy is nice, lollipops are fun, but a temp tattoo…who ever heard of such an awesome creation?  I think she’s going to be totally crushed when he washes off tomorrow or the day after.

Yes, those are Halloween pajamas that say “Witch Way to the Candy”…I’m REALLY in Halloween, what can I say?

We made a vlog to talk about the experience (including an interview of Ellie while trick or treating)…enjoy!

This entry was posted in Holidays, Holidays (Not Singaporean), Pictures, Singapore, With Kids. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to An American Style Halloween in Singapore

  1. I am out so will watch vlog later. So glad you got a piece of Halloween in Singers. The excitement levels at our place are pretty out of control!
    Planning to stick some photos up on the blog at the end of the night.
    Love the frying pan – v creative.

  2. Laura says:

    Glad you had a great evening and loved the vlog!

  3. Dawn says:

    You had more of a Halloween than we did! Trick-or-treating was canceled here due to widespread power outages after the unexpected early Nor’Easter.

    • Crystal says:

      They cancelled it entirely? I’d heard some towns rescheduled, but I didn’t realize others cancelled it entirely. 😦 Boo.

      How are you guys faring with regards to power/heat/etc?

      • Dawn says:

        We were lucky – only lost power for a few hours early Monday morning (about 3am-7am) in addition to a few brownouts on Saturday night. However, 70% of our town was out starting Saturday night, and my in-laws (who are one street over from us) were one of the unlucky ones; they are supposedly getting power back today and have been out since Saturday night. (However, they were too stubborn to come stay with us even though they have no heat!!! I guess they’d prefer to be cold than kept up all night by the kiddies.)

        As for canceling/rescheduling, most towns who canceled trick-or-treating have rescheduled for this weekend; ours hasn’t, at least not yet.

      • Dawn says:

        …and apparently it’s been rescheduled for Saturday, when we will be conveniently not home as we will be out celebrating I’s one month birthday (Chinese tradition, all planned already).

      • Crystal says:

        Both sets of parents were lucky for us. Sue and Amit didn’t lose power, although there were some big tree branches down in their neighborhood. A lot of Shirley lost power, but luckily my parents just lost cable.

        The one month ceremony sounds cool! I read about it as it’s (obviously) quite common here.

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  5. bookjunkie says:

    absolutely loving your vlogs and this halloween episode.

    I am just amazed that you have the energy to do all you do and just after having a baby.

    • Crystal says:


      I’m doing so much because compared to how I felt during the pregnancy (with the constant throwing up, and then the bed rest) and the broken ankle before that (trapped in a wheelchair)…I haven’t felt this healthy in almost a year. I have to take it a bit slower than usual, and I can’t pick up Ellie because I could injure my internal stitches, but apart from those limitations (and no exercise, which only sucks in that I can’t swim for another 4 weeks or so) I feel amazingly well. All I want at this point is to get out of the house, where I’ve spent far too much of the past year.

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