05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Victorian Halloween

Our general topic for this month is supposed to be about Blogging, the pro and cons and such, but I had a better idea to show my reason for blogging. Since this is the great and grand month of October, I thought I'd talk about a Victorian Halloween.

October 31st wasn't always the fun atmosphere it is today. Before the late 1800s, the Victorian Era, Halloween or All Hollows Eve, also known as Samhain (sa:win), was once a night to stay inside away from mischievous spirits allowed to visit the living. In the late 1800's, Americans started to mold Halloween into a more community and neighborly holiday. At the turn of the century, parties were the thing to do. They held parties for both adults and children that were as extravagant as you can image. Much more so than today's.
At the time parents were encouraged to remove anything scary or grotesque from their celebrations. Games played at both parties are the same games we play at childhood games. Bobbing for Apples, Blind Man's Bluff, Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Scavenger hunts where boys and girls could pair up and search in the night were the most common. Of course, we've always had the costumes to scare away spirits, but the Victorian era was more about the historical people, fantasy characters, and the silly that we know and love today.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. My family has always dressed up in costumes, including my mom, and gone trick to treating and decorated the front of our house. Now, as a mother myself, I get to make the costumes for my kids, decorate our new house and count the candy.

Thank you for joining me for this lovely Victorian Halloween Blog. How do you celebrate Halloween? What is your favorite aspect?


Mindy Hardwick said...

One of the things I learned about Halloween is that between 1875 and 1935, Halloween parties were meant for single young people. They were seen as a way to meet, and a way for matchmaking! The parties usually involved kissing and mistletoe was hung! There is a great book, Halloween Trivia by Tonya Lambert that gives a lot of great, fun information about Halloween! I love Halloween. It's one of my favorite holidays.

Jamie Lee Scott said...

Halloween is my favorite holiday. My brother in law has always grown 500+ pound pumpkins and turned his yard into a cemetery. One year I even flew home for the family fun. Well, Halloween and to visit, sorta like other families do for Christmas.

Sarah Raplee said...

Fascinating post! I love history and I love Halloween, so this was perfect as far as I'm concerned!

maepen said...

Good morning. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays as well. I escpecially like the costumes.

Mindy, Thank you for such a wonderful resource. I will definately add it.

Jamie, we recently moved into our own house which means we get to decorate. We're going for a graveyard/zombie scene this year. It must be really hard to grow such large pumkpins. We got one from our first garden which will be carved tomorrow.

Sarah, what's your favorite part of Halloween?

harshadpassion said...

Oh, neat. I never knew this. How do I celebrate Halloween? Well, in past years, my little brother's thrown a "Halloween tableaux" and I'll have some part to play in that...For instance, one year he had a "mad scientist" them. We'd get together and do that, for the neighborhood kids, as well as passing out candy.
Very interesting post. Thanks, Mae!


Paty Jager said...

I've always loved Halloween for the chance to dress up and be someone I wouldn't normally be. Since the kids have grown up and moved away, I spend Halloween sitting at home with the dh. We live so far from town we don't even get trick or treaters.

Fun post!

elli88 said...

My neighbor goes all out with decorating. Me, I restrain the dog when little ones come to the door -- and she's a really friendly hound, but her size and bark scares kids. BTW, great photos.

Judith Ashley said...

Over the years how I celebrate has changed. Last year I didn't even hand out candy. This year I'll be at a Samhain Ceremony so no candy at my house this year either.

I love seeing the little children dress up. I'm a great actress (widened eyes, "O'd" mouth, hand pressed to my heart) when they come to my door. I'm not really into the high school kids trick or treating...when I was that age, we went out through 8th grade and then it was the youth group kind of parties.

Thanks, Mae for an informative and entertaining post.

Stormfeather said...

Halloween is my favorite Holiday!
There are not enough days in October !

maepen said...

Julianne, my borther used to do that when we were growing up too. He loved to do haunted houses.

Paty, What was your favorite thing to dress up like?

Elli88, we have a couple dogs ourselves. One of which is very freindly. My kids love to dress them up and take them with. Poor dog, you should see her role her eyes at them. LOL.

Judith, I hope you have a great ceremony and I wish you a happy new year. May good things come your way.

Stormfeather, I whole heartedly agree. December is the other month I don't think there's enough days. It's my birthday then so I get double presents. What do you love the most about Halloween?

Diana Mcc. said...

Loved your post, Mae! Halloween is my favorite holiday. I've always lived so far from town I didn't get trick or treaters. I would go to one of my adult children's houses, dress up and help take the kids around and pass out candy on Halloween.

maepen said...

Hi Diana. My mom used to do that with my kids before she moved to the Southwest. She loved their enthusiam.

Bron said...

Hi Mae Pen

I live in NZ and we're not really into Halloween. Also it's summer here, and with daylight saving it's still light when the kids go trick a treating. I remember when I lived in America as a young girl, I got so much candy on halloween, it would last for months.

Thanks for the history lesson.