With respect to my last post, Halloween is no longer an American phenomenon. There is no longer just a single night in many European cities where people dress up for a night of debauchery. Much like in the U.S., there is a whole Halloween season in Europe. And the evidence lies in Halloween nights at Tivoli Gardens.
Doubling as an amusement park and a recreational park, Tivoli is one of Copenhagen’s oldest and most popular attractions. It’s pretty impressive to think that there’s a theme park right in the heart of the inner city. But somehow there is. And it’s pretty awesome. I actually hadn’t visited Tivoli until it opened its doors for the Halloween season. And I heard it was something not to be missed. So some friends and I decided to check it out.
Tivoli operates in seasons. It’s open all of summer, closes for a couple of weeks, then opens again for Halloween, closes for about a month, then re-opens for Christmas, remains closed all of winter, and finally resumes full operation in the spring. If you’re wondering how an amusement park stays open in Copenhagen considering the rainy, windy, unpredictable weather patterns, I wonder the same thing. In fact, the night I went to Tivoli it began pouring rain, while we were riding a roller coaster. And the ride operators expressed no intention of stopping the ride. I guess the common Danish attitude towards the rain is to suck it up and live with it. Well, if I can still ride the roller coasters, I can’t disagree with the Danes.
Tivoli was decked out in Halloween decorations. But this wasn’t just like a typical makeshift Halloween carnival in the U.S. Lit pumpkins were in abundance; smoky witch cauldrons attracted crowds of children (and my friends as well); and there was even a huge pumpkin that rested on top of the Tivoli hotel. In no way did Tivoli hold back on the decorations. Expecting a sort of European twist to the Halloween celebrations, Halloween at Tivoli was unashamedly American. It reminded me exactly of Halloween back in the states—only much colder and much more ostentatious than any Halloween display. Tivoli even had constructed an elaborate haunted house for the season. I think it’s fair to say that Europe (well, at least Copenhagen) is doing Halloween justice.