Posted By Happy Homemaker UK



In Ireland and Britain
during the Middle Ages on Hallowmas { November 1 }
 people went door-to-door in costume
receiving food in return for prayers for the dead




Fast-forward to 1895
for the first record of 'guising' in Scotland,
where children in disguise visited neighbors

performing a poem, song, or joke
to receive cake, fruit or money for their efforts
{ practiced later in Ireland too }

They carried lanterns made of scooped-out turnips
{ which was on the menu the following day }

First record of guising in North America was in
1911

Some point before 1940, guising evolved to 'trick-or-treating'
on Halloween night in the western US and Canada




Although this annual US event of
asking for candy without a performance was stalled
by sugar rationing from 1942-1947 due to World War II,

trick-or-treating picked up steam
with the mass production of costumes
and attention given to it in children's magazines and radio shows

firmly establishing it in American pop culture by 1952

Today
Halloween has a really fun vibe to it 
and is generally loved by everyone
in the US

It's a time
for parties in classrooms and among adults,
for catching up with neighbors,
for giggly teenagers to scare themselves at staged haunted houses
{ I haven't seen those here }


Carving pumpkins is an American tradition, as pumpkins are native to America
{ and bigger than turnips }


'Trick-or-treating' in England is viewed as an American export
and not necessarily a welcome one

In 2007 the BBC News wrote
the 'authentically ancient festival' of Halloween
'has been hijacked by trick or treating' 
and cited
the 1986 House of Lords debate about
 trick-or-treating being not a tradition, 
but American for begging
{ Yikes! }

Seasonal decorations displayed on house exteriors is considered 'in bad taste'
so we have festive window stickers at the back of the house
{ plus some spooky fake [and real] cobwebs hanging inside }

Therefore
a giant blow up ghost popping out of a pumpkin
would never be seen in front of someone's home here as
1) electricity is too expensive
2) you would be calling attention to yourself




Halloween is more of a dark occasion here,
which makes the older generations nervous about bad behavior
in a society that closely guards its privacy

My first year I saw 'No Trick Or Treaters Here' fliers distributed for posting on doors

To indicate trick-or-treaters are welcome at a home,
a pumpkin or lit candle will be outside the front door

However each year there seems to be
increased lightening and acceptance of this event

evidenced by more Halloween displays in store windows
and more aisle space dedicated to bagged candy, costumes, and knickknacks




Although most English parents never trick-or-treated as children,
it is catching on and their children are enthusiastic about it

Children's costumes are scary or gory
- skeletons, witches, ghouls -

never 'cute' like a puppy dog
or Disney characters
{ that would be seen as bizarre }


Many houses have spooky 'fog machines'
{ well, ventilation for boilers, actually }


I noticed trick-or-treat bags are quite small,
humbly not wanting to seem greedy
{ some Americans bring pillowcases to fill in the US }

English neighbors typically give one piece of candy or one coin

Our street is filled with elderly neighbors,
so I expect none of them will be participating

We will seek a street with more family homes




American readers are probably thinking
how nice it must be to avoid the heavy commercialization of Halloween,

but with no Thanksgiving in England
you can bet Christmas paraphernalia has been for sale since the beginning of October!

Happy Halloween, y'all :)

- all photos by me -

Source: Wikipedia 123BBCRampants Scotland

 
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