The funny thing is that the origins of 'trick or treat' lie not in America but in medieval Europe. In almost every English-speaking and (commonly but not exclusively) Christian countries there have been lots of rituals (many pagan) that have taken place around the 1st November each year. These rituals often include asking for food, dressing up and making a connection to the spirits of the dead. 31st October is known as All Hallows Eve, 1st November is All Hallows Day and 2nd November is All Souls Day.
The practice of going door to door was mentioned in 1779 by John Brand in 'Popular Antiquities Of Great Britain' where he wrote "On All Saints Day, the poor people go from parish to parish a Souling, as they call it."
The Christian tradition goes back to the 14th century but the pagan ritual can be traces back to the 10th century if not before.
Here in the UK this is followed shortly by Bonfire Night which began to celebrate the thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. Guy Fawkes plotted to blow up Parliament but was caught and was scheduled to be hanged, drawn and quartered. I think he jumped from the scaffold with the noose about his neck thereby escaping that grizzly end. Every year on 5th of November he is symbollically re-executed when effigies of him are burned on bonfires all over England. There are also big fireworks displays you can attend but some families buy their own fireworks and have smaller, more intimate firework events in their own gardens.
As a child we had a few fireworks in the back garden like Roman Candles, Catherine Wheels and Crackers. These were exciting days where you waited all day for it to get dark and for the air to take on a chill as you anticipated what was to come. The Roman Candles stood in a small hole in the ground and erupted in a shower of coloured sparks with a smell you will never forget. It smelt of wet gunpowder and I can still smell it today. One of the warmest memories of my childhood. We also had rockets. These stood in an empty milk bottle, the blue touch paper was lit and we all stood back waiting for the rocket to burst into life and fly off into the dark sky before exploding with a spray of colour and a big bang. They were magical. The catherine wheels always promised much but delivered little. They were supposed to spin round after they had been lit, nailed to a post. They rarely performed well though but we lived in hope each year that this was going to be the year when it worked. The real magic came from the sparklers though. These you held in your hands and waved around, tracing patterns of light as sparks flew from the thin stick as it burned down. Ah the memories. At a bigger event in the town you would be able to warm yourself around the huge bonfire while a more organised fireworks display went on above you. You got a stiff neck from looking up so long and your face ached from smiling. After the fireworks there were mugs of hot soup and pies to eat. I'm sure it was colder when I was a child as I remember always being wrapped in a big coat with a scarf and gloves.
Wonderful memories of childhood. Keep your kids young and let them experience the magic. These are the memories that will stay with them in life.
Well, it has been a little while since my last journal so I have much to feature. You have all been very busy as have I so I have been trying to keep up with you. I think I am finally back where I like to be and have many favourites to share. I hope you will find much to enjoy from this selection. I will try to include as many of you as I can as you all deserve to be featured. It was recently my birthday and I have never had so many messages and gifts as I did this year. For that I am extremely grateful to each and every one of you. You show me such kindness in many ways which I can only thank you for. Thank you all So, here we go. Sit back and relax and enjoy some beautiful images from your good selves.
That's all folks
I hope you have enjoyed looking through these beautiful and creative pictures. I don't know what I would do without art of all kinds in my life and, most importantly, the artists themselves. Thank you for making my day each and every day by making the art that you make. It is such a pleasure to come here every day to see what you have been doing. I just thought I'd let you know how important that is to me.
If you liked anything here please take time t let the artist know. It could just turn their day into a good one.
Take care every one. Keep on creating and keep on smiling. Spread the love and keep making this world a better place. My love to each and every one of you