Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Very Victorian Halloween

Halloween is a rowdy holiday in this day and age, but in the day of the Victorians it was more subdued. It was seen as a holiday for entertaining. It wasn't a holiday concerned with death and the walking dead. So here is what a very Victorian Halloween might have been celebrated.
First, children were not the focus of these celebrations. It was much more a season of romance and love. (Sounds more like the focus of Valentine's Day doesn't it?) But magazines at the time were full of love stories that focused around Halloween. The stories included titles like "Love Lies A-Bleeding". It was a night of mystery for the Victorians. 

And stories were told at those parties held during that time, but they were often used for matchmaking. 

Much time was spent on planning a party for the season, and it started with the invitations which could be quite elaborate. Imagine receiving a Jack-o-Lantern with your invitation attached. A dramatic entrance was a must, And of course the houses were completely dark when you entered the party.

Games we have heard of like Bobbing For Apples were played, but there were some odd ones like "test of college colors". In that game females were blindfolded and they chose ribbons of different colors. The choice of the colored ribbons was supposed to predict the girls future husbands college alma mater. 

And at the end of the party celebrants were sent home with souvenirs of the evening. They had gilded wishbones, "dream pills", or a penny for good lucky.

Seems like a very Victorian Halloween would be so much different than the parties we now attend doesn't it?

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