Origin of Trick or Treating

Discussions about festivals

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Postby kit » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:38 pm

Thanks for your support Ebany and I do agree about the use of anonymous, but I understand too that not everyone wants their name plastered over the Internet. Nor do they want to incur the wrath of my loyal Stonewylders!! You're a formidable bunch - remember that poor woman who posted an adverse review on Amazon? Phew - she certainly took it down quickly after you lot dived in!

It's good to have a difference of opinion sometimes and anonymous was right in many ways - squirting children on your doorstep is mean and horrible and setting a bad example. I just hope now I've clarified it that it doesn't sound quite so dreadful! I wouldn't dream of being violent towards children! Although I still don't think a small plastic waterpistol is actually a weapon of mass destruction! But thanks for your comments, lovely man.

Daffodil - loved your comment on the blog!! What a slogan - "The only difference between the crap sold at Christmas, Easter and Hallowe'en is the colour of the plastic"!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: That so made me laugh!
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Postby Daffodil » Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:52 pm

:lol: Good stuff, I am glad it made you laugh Kit. It's so true though isn't it.
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Postby iWitch » Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:29 pm

Seawitch wrote:It is also the Celtic New Year; a time for the old year to leave us and the New Year with all its fresh promise to be born.


I'm sorry, but I have to point this out, as it niggles at me everytime I read it. Samhain being the Celtic New Year was invented by the romantic movement of the of the 19th century/early 20th century and has no basis in pre-xian paganism. Historically, it is the festival which honours Summer's end, but there are not actual references of it being the New Year until the 18th century. Some of the modern celtic countries did adopt the practice or referring to it as the New Year and the Wicca movement has also adopted it as such, but most "celtic" pagan groups continue . :?

Please read: "Stations of the Sun" by Professor Ronald Hutton for further factual information. :wink:
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Postby Firecracker » Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:05 pm

I am probably going to be the odd one out here because I love Halloween, and just what I see as Samhain, but the commercial Halloween aspect of it.

Admittedly, I do not like it when older children / teenagers buy a cheapy mask and go out expecting cash. But I grew up with trick or treating and always loved dressing up and carving our pumpkin and going out into the cold.

Going out now I always love seeing the young children all dressed up and excited.

When we were kids we would go in a small group and always with an adult. And we had strict rules about where we were allowed to go, only to houses where we knew that there were no eldery people and only in our street.

I was dissapointed on Friday when I had bowls of sweets waiting for the trick or treaters and only got two knocks on the door! I dressed Daniel up as a pumpkin and we went out but I only took him to two houses, one where I knew a family lived and one where the outside of the house was all decorated in Halloween stuff.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion though, and it doesn't make anyone right or wrong.... jut different. And wouldnt the world be a boring place is everyone was the same. :)
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Postby kit » Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:32 pm

Very true, Firecracker! And I'm sure if you'd come calling on me with little Daniel dressed as a pumpkin my grumpy old heart would have melted! And no, I wouldn't have squirted him with a waterpistol nor given him a clove of garlic!! :lol: :lol:
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Postby Carprimulgidae » Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:08 am

Firecracker, your one of the sensible ones but sadly there are a few who always spoil it and I can see why Kit is armed with a water pistol, although I wouldn’t be that brave in case they had revenge.
our local Co-Op was out of eggs, shelves empty so the idiots were out armed and dangerous.
I like it when young kids come with their mother all dressed (the kids not the mother, well her too sometimes) but when you get big kids who are only out to cause havoc in the name of a laugh then i'm afraid I am a stick in the mud too. If you don’t answer the door you get egg on the window, if you do answer the door they want more than sweets.

Far too commercialised these days, we used to have two apples on two pieces of string and had great fun, didn’t cost the earth and kept us busy for an hour. Or we would have apples in a bowl of water, the kids would love it now but the parents are the ones that want to dress up :P
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Postby Beantighe » Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:00 am

I think your waterpistol idea was quite mild really, Kit!

Years ago in the late 80s I lived in Box, Wiltshire, and it was an awful, rough council housing estate we lived on. We were there for 5 long years, and I've never lived anywhere where I felt so scared of the local kids.

I dreaded Hallowe'en every year, for fear of what these kids might do, so one year I got a plastic bucket, tied a string to the handle, filled it with water, and got a set of steps and balanced it on the porch above our front door! Then I threaded the string through the letter-box! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

I was so disappointed that no trick or treaters turned up that year! :twisted: :wink:

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Postby Firecracker » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:02 am

I used to live on quite a rough estate called Middleton in Leeds. And I do agree that some spoil it for others. I used to refuse to answer the door after 8pm, because while I love seeing the little ones dressed up and having fun, I think after about the time of 8pm the children who are young enough to go trick or treating should be at home! Not out in the cold and dark!

Kit, if you had squirted Dan with a water pistol I am sure he would have loved it and asked for more :lol:
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Postby Beantighe » Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:32 pm

Lyme Regis was just as bad when I lived there. You could go down the street the next day and the pavements were covered in flour and you could see where the houses and their front doors had had eggs thrown at them. Some of the shops used to have notices up just before Hallowe'en that eggs and flour would not be sold to under-18s. I felt so sorry for the old folk, and those living alone. They must have been terrified. I know I was, and I was only in my 40s then.

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Postby Greymalkin » Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:56 pm

iWitch wrote:I'm sorry, but I have to point this out, as it niggles at me everytime I read it. Samhain being the Celtic New Year was invented by the romantic movement of the of the 19th century/early 20th century and has no basis in pre-xian paganism. Historically, it is the festival which honours Summer's end, but there are not actual references of it being the New Year until the 18th century


While this is all very true I really don't see the point myself. So our pagan ancestors didn't see 1st Nov as the start of the year - who cares?
We don't live in the past, we live in 2008, and to our modern, western minds we feel comfortable having the year end on a specific day and the new year start on the next one.
As pagans, Samhain is the closest thing we have to a new year - so new year it's going to be.

In all my years as a pagan if there's one thing I love about this way of life is the flexibility of it and that's why I think paganism is going to go on and become one of the major world religions over the next few decades because of it's ability to change and grow depending on circumstances unlike Christianity and Islam which seem unable to change and modernise and still live like people did 1000 years ago.
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Postby Ebany » Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:56 pm

Sorry I-witch, I'm afraid that I have to agree with Greymalkin on this one. I'm really not bothered that the Pagan new year falling on the 31st of October was invented in the 19th century - it's as good a date as any. Being able to celebrate something like that with many thousands of others does have a certain appeal for me. The other point is of course, that because people like the Pagan Federation have fought long and hard to get recognition for our beliefs, we are recognised as being members of a minority religion and are entitled (I'm pretty sure this is right) to be free on our "holy" days (31st October, 21st December) to perform our celebrations, just as Christians, Muslims, Hindi etc. also have this right.

Having said that, (this touches on Greymalkins other point) if I don't feel like celebrating it then, then I simply will wait till the right moment is there - this being the freedom of Paganism that I love. There is no-one who will tell me I'm doing something wrong - I follow my instincts (which I trust) and if anyone disagrees then that is their tough luck!!
Dates are funny things though, we stick to certain dates for certain things whereas our ancestors looked to nature and the sun and the moon to tell them when to do things. Unfotunately, our modern way of living makes that very difficult.
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Postby iWitch » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:30 pm

Greymalkin wrote:As pagans, Samhain is the closest thing we have to a new year - so new year it's going to be.


Really? :shock: Hmmm ... what about winter solstice (the renewal of the sun/rebirth of the sun god in Wicca/druidry); or Imbolc for the celts? Then again, I've never seen the need for a "New Year", as the celtic festivals are complete within themselves, IMO. :wink: :D

Ebany wrote:I'm really not bothered that the Pagan new year falling on the 31st of October was invented in the 19th century - it's as good a date as any.


I think you've misread my post Ebany. :( This is what I actually said.

iWitch wrote:Samhain being the Celtic New Year was invented by the romantic movement of the of the 19th century/early 20th century and has no basis in pre-xian paganism.


In my opinion, its not the pagan new year, either. Its the time of new year only for certain pagan groups such as Wicca and neo-druids and those following a tradition derivative of the same. If I could just ask that you don't lump us all in together, please :( ? There are many pagan groups who do not acknowledge the Wiccan festivals, or even the celtic fire festivals, such as the norse heathens. 8)

Ebany wrote:... we are recognised as being members of a minority religion and are entitled (I'm pretty sure this is right) to be free on our "holy" days (31st October, 21st December) to perform our celebrations, just as Christians, Muslims, Hindi etc. also have this right.


First I've ever heard of this. :shock: Have you any further details, please Ebany?

The only government "recognition" of which I am aware relates to the astaru/heathens alone and was in relation to one small matter of an court oath I believe. Paganism is not a recognised religion in the UK. That's one of the things the Pebble, the PF and other groups are working towards; at least, that's what they keep telling me. :lol:


Ebany wrote:Dates are funny things though, we stick to certain dates for certain things whereas our ancestors looked to nature and the sun and the moon to tell them when to do things. Unfotunately, our modern way of living makes that very difficult.


I have never advocated the set date of October 31st for Samhain. There are many pagan groups that choose either the nearest full or nearest dark moon, or work on the date in which the moon enters Scorpio and, as Ebany pointed out, our ancestors would have gone by instinct. :D
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Postby Ebany » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:45 pm

I'm sorry i-witch, you are quite correct, I did mis read and then mis quote what you said!!!! You are also undoubtably right about what has been achieved by the PF and Pebble - I've obviously mis read something in Pagan Dawn or suchlike. I may well even be confusing things with the way it is over here - these days I frequently forget which language I'm using, so confusion is never far away!!!
Anyway you are always so very well informed, I'm sure that you are right. As you say, the dates are adhered to mostly by the wiccan groups - and those of course are the ones that I've always had the most contact with....
I do stand corrected and will read your posts much more carefully before replying next time!!!!
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Postby kit » Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:16 pm

This all seems to have gone just a little off-topic - I thought we were discussing the origins of trick or treating? I get very confused with all these different traditions/paths/groups. Let's just keep it Stonewylde shall we? I tried hard when creating Stonewylde to make a community, culture and spirituality that didn't follow any particular modern path, and drew on elements of several older traditions with lots of imagination and artistic license thrown in. I do hope we can all continue to go along with the spirit of this, and remember that it's what this forum and community we've built up together is all about: tolerance, understanding and respect for each others' views and even lack of knowledge. I certainly don't understand the finer details of what different groups believe in or follow, and I perhaps speak for the majority here. And of course many people in our Stonewylde community wouldn't even describe themselves as pagan or whatever. As we've said before, this place is all about doing what feels right and natural. I'm sure we'd all subscribe to that! :)
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Postby Ebany » Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:57 pm

Kit - you are quite right - it has drifted quite a way off topic - mea culpa!! You are also quite right in that this is not a Wiccan, Pagan or anything else forum, it's about Stonewylde!!! Ebany is now making his way over to the naughty corner and hopes to be allowed out sometime soon....... :roll: :roll:
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