Happy Vintage Halloween!

Well it’s almost Halloween – and the pumpkin is ready to be carved! We’ve always had lots of fun doing that and this year we are going to make a really old fashioned face – not your modern flights of fancy that you see these days but something like we’ve drawn on our cute little Halloween trick or treat favours we’ve made. 

A proper old “jack-o-lantern” a term dating back to the 17th century that literally means “man with a lantern”, probably a reference to the old night watchman who would be out and about in the dark hours checking all’s well with the world. Then again, if we are really going to be historically correct we should be carving a turnip rather than a pumpkin as that’s the vegetable that was used years ago before pumpkins got in on the act! Back in the late 1800’s carrying turnip lanterns around was almost like the equivalent of today’s trick or treat naughtiness! Young lads would frighten people at night with them!! They were also used to light the way for those going from door to door begging for soul cakes – small round cakes that were given out in return for singing and saying prayers for the dead. Each one eaten represented a soul being saved from purgatory – so trick or treating isn’t an American invention after all !!

We’ve really enjoyed doing a bit of research into vintage Halloween fun – have a look at the BBC Edwardian Farm programme – Episode 2 where Ruth and the others celebrate an Edwardian Halloween with a fresh chicken dinner and traditional games to bring in some cheer in the face of the coming winter. Very often the games played throughout the Victorian and Edwardian eras were about predicting the future – for example nutshells would be given names to represent possible love interests and put on the fire to see which would burn first – the one that did would be the name of the person that would become a true love. Those that cracked or popped were just possible quick flings! And apple bobbing – something we have loved doing since childhood – was also used to predict love interests. Nowadays we just race each other to see who can bite an apple first but historically once you had your apple you would peel it into long pieces, pass the peel round your head three times then throw it over your shoulder onto the floor where it should land and form the initial letter of your true lover’s name. We’re going to give that one a go!

We also looked for inspiration for a vintage Halloween party and found these lovely centerpeices – originally dating back from the early 20’s and 30’s but you can still get hold of reproduction ones from Beistle. We think they are gorgeous – and check out this lovely authentic German vintage Halloween 3 panel screen we came across. Put all this together with a vintage typrewritter and some lovely old china and you can make a fabulous vintage Halloween party. Enjoy  – and try not to get too scared!

Published by annie, on 25th October 2012 at 12:56 pm. Filled under: Vintage Activities,Vintage Events Tags: , , , , Comments Off on Happy Vintage Halloween!