“All we need is some leggings.”
“Leggings?” I asked.
“Yeah,” one of my assistants said on the phone, “You cut the necessary holes and paint the thing white and finish it off with the black dots of ink.”
“And; boom: Rorschach!”
My assistant was talking about the antihero from the DC Comics Watchmen series, a crime-fighter with the absolute belief in good and bad. Like his mask, it’s all black and white for Rorschach.
“As an added plus, the paint is probably so strong that we don’t need any additional drinks for the evening,” he said.
Sadly, it was late afternoon on Saturday October 31, and we found out we didn’t have the resources for leggings, and the stores selling any kinds of garments were closed for today as the All Saints’ Day is marked as a public holiday in the calendar.
We were running out of time. The parties were set to begin in a few hours and my assistants were arriving from out of town.
Oh, well. It didn’t really matter. We were all set.
Blazers, fedoras in various colours and beer were all I and my two assistants needed to get in the mood for a Halloween weekend in Helsinki on this unusually warm night.
I had hand-picked the absolute cream of the Halloween theme parties, which were spread across the city.
First stop: Sexhibition – the biannual erotic fair at the Cable Factory, one to visit, for anybody . . . well . . . interested in sex.
We arrived just in time to catch a show by a female duo, Fetish CATZ Indra and Juniper.
Two ladies stepped on stage. The other was covered in dark latex, a catwoman with a dildo. The other beauty was naked, except for the black eye mask and breasts covered in dark paint. The stage was set for a play of master and slave.
The crowd was colourful. There were singles, couples, old and young, people one would classify as “normal”, who were seeking to add a spark to their love life. There were many vendors selling various sex toys. There were many vendors selling various drinks. A woman dressed as a devil offered us shots from a test tube.
We ended the fair by watching a show where the porn star and striptease artist, Sarah Angel, played a zombie bride (a good-looking one). Her show climaxed in Angel having sex with a brunette and a strap-on.
Second stop: restaurant Kaivohuone.
As we stepped out of the cab in Kaivopuisto and felt the fresh breeze of the Gulf of Finland caressing our faces, we were happily welcomed in to the party where the restaurant was decorated as the Haunted House.
Inside, among the cobwebs and carved pumpkins there were hundreds of people, who had made a serious effort to dress up for Halloween. I saw a lady dressed as a Jedi, a Spanish girl suited up as a skeleton. There were several killer bunnies, zombies and guys face painted with the skills of an artist on absinth.
Halloween has grown increasingly popular in Finland in the past few years. The sales of pumpkins skyrocket, grocery stores sell everything from bats and spiders to ghost sheets and sorcerer hats.
Since the introduction of Coca-Cola and Knight Rider, following American trends is of course not new to Finland. We and other Nordic countries were never Sovietised like the Baltic countries. We were able to watch Knight Rider legally, where our southern neighbour Estonia was desperately trying to pick up the signal from a Finnish TV tower in Tampere.
We were also free to maintain our own customs and traditions; the All Saints’ Day is a fine example of this, which marks as the highlight of the end of October or beginning of November.
The festival, which was popular in the rural Finland in the 18th century as a celebration for the ending of the harvesting season resembling the popular Gaelic festival Samhain, became infused with religious influence and a century later became fashionable as a commemoration for martyrs.
It wasn’t until the 1920s, when the caretaking of graveyards gained popularity, that the Finns started illuminating the graves of the loved one’s with the soft light of memorial candles. What could have been a more suitable season for the occasion than the dark and romantic autumn?
For now, it seems that it’s the young adults in Finland who have taken Halloween as part of their party tradition. When the American children go trick-or-treating, their Finnish counterparts save the candy-begging from door to door for Easter.
Adolescents and those above the legal age of 18 are, however, happy to decorate their apartments with carved pumpkins, pull on a zombie mask, enjoy a couple of drinks in a club and add a little spark to their autumn until the next costume frenzy is knocking at the door.
There’s only a few weeks until the Christmas party season begins.