The last time we were in London, England in October, darned if we didn’t see Halloween stuff all over the place! I couldn’t believe it. One afternoon we saw people in costumes heading into some kind of afternoon event not far from the Victoria and Albert Museum. I think it’s safe to say it was a Halloween party! I have read how much the Brits like fancy dress!
In October 2015 we were absolutely blown away to see Halloween decorations all over the place in Rome. We thought they celebrated this time of the year on November 1st and 2nd, being, respectively, All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
After doing a little “Halloween research” it seems that “guising” or “trick-or-treating,” where children dress up in costume and go house to house, has been going on for a very long time in countries like England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. I love this: sometimes in Ireland the children are given pancakes or colcannon? What no candy? Colcannon is a potato-cabbage mixture! The Scots used to carve out turnips but once the people in North America began carving native pumpkins (a lot easier to carve), well you know the rest! Looks like people who immigrated to North America in the 19th century “borrowed directly” or “adapted” their Halloween traditions from other countries and they had a big impact on how it’s observed. Undoubtedly, we probably created the “commercial” aspect to the end of harvest, beginning of winter celebrations. Trust us!
No tricks from me! Here’s a link to a Halloween Treat for you! Halloween Nanaimo Bars.
I have especially fond memories of this “celebration.” Growing up in the 1950’s and ’60’s we were very lucky. Our parents did not give a thought to us little “hooligans” leaving the house as soon as it got dark and then spending the next 3 hours running from house to house filling our bags with goodies! There were always older kids who would tell us that Mrs. so and so was handing out toffee apples or popcorn balls but I am pretty sure it was a scam because whenever we went to the house in question, there was nothing like that available!
When we finally returned home, mom had brewed up some hot chocolate and sometimes there were hot dogs and we all sat out on our front porch to watch dad set off our fireworks (his favourite was “The Little Red School House”). We all thought it was kind of boring. What we liked were the rockets…they would shoot up different coloured plumes that would explode in the sky, cool! Some of the neighbours would be setting off their fireworks as well, it was great fun and best of all we got to stay up later than usual!
Now here’s the best part (my Halloween Playlist)! Just wait for the ads to finish!
- “I Put a Spell on You” (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins)
- “I Ain’t Superstitious” (Howlin’ Wolf)
- “Blues For Dracula” (Philly Joe Jones)
- “Danse Macabre”
- And just to add a bit more silliness, “The Singing Pumpkins.”
Happy Halloween Tutti!