Saturday, November 7, 2009


It was Halloween last week in America. It was Heeloween in North Carolina. Tar Heel is the nickname for North Carolina and its University, its students and its University athletes. The nickname is related to the tar that was created from the pine forests in North Carolina. During the Civil War the North Carolina troops are supposed to have threatened Virginians to put the tar on their heels so they ‘would stick better’.1 And a Tar Heel celebrates Heeloween.

Heeloween in Chapel Hill means, besides trick-and-treating and the costumed parties, a massive gathering on Franklinstreet. According to police reports 50.000 people gathered on Chapel Hill’s main street to experience Heeloween. As a visitor I could only wonder about the joy of the robots, cavemen and women, penguins and Lincolns. A rabbit in a head why I was not wearing a costume. I guess it is one of those parties, like the Dutch Sinterklaas, only understood by people who started celebrating it as a child. Although I was touched by the magic when a rabbit in a head wondered about my 'costume'.

1 sources: Wikipedia and the UNC website,