Dissolving Clown Hearts on Christmoween
“She was a Christian and they tried to kill her but there was a rock that got split in half and some shepherds disguised her or something like that,” Says Sabine, “But I’m the worst person to ask about these things.” Halloween Christmas is today in Lebanon. It’s really called Barbara but it’s pronounced Bar Bara in Arabic. The holiday is for St. Barbara (obviously named after the quaint town of Santa Barbara), the patron saint of firemen,prisoners, and like 8 others. It’s exactly like Halloween except that it is very close to Christmas. Children go trick or treating door to door dressed as ghosts and princesses to collect candy in Santa hats. Our falafel and sodas are placed on the table. I’m making faces at the little girl at the table next to us. She laughs coyly in Arabic as my hat drifts across my face changing my expression from happy to sad to surprised etc. A man walks by our table in a clown mask for Bar-bara. “That’s why people think they are afraid of clowns,” we agree. We also note that people aren’t really afraid of clowns but horrible clown makeup and masks. We don’t even wear noses in our Clowns Without Borders show. It’s hip to be afraid of clowns these days. But the kids of Lebanon don’t know this. In many places they have never seen anything like this before. They don’t know how to react. For instance, Jan (pronounced Yon) has this killer diabolo routine (that’s this strange circus apparatus I don’t feel like explaining right now) that he often gets paid about 1,000 bucks for in real life.