Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Old~fashioned Halloween wishes!

If you look into Halloween, you will discover that many of our traditions date back to the Victorians. Halloween for them was a time of parties and matchmaking. Card giving was always important and Halloween was no exception. I have mentioned the book "Halloween ~ Romantic Art and Customs of Yesteryear" by Diane C. Arkins in a previous post. It is a wonderful book containing not only the pretty postcards she has found but also information about the traditions and games of the turn of the century. Isn't it a shame we don't revive the old traditions of this holiday.

One of the traditions was bobbing for apples. There were fun matchmaking myths connected to this game. Here is an excerpt from the book talking about just one of the many myths that Diane Arkins describes:

"An apple caught on the very first attempt represented a true love that would be returned in kind. Those captured on subsequent tried represented fickleness or, ultimately, a sign from Fate to target a different suitor. The apple prizes could then either be placed beneath their captors' pillow - to inspire sweet dreams of a lover, naturally! - or cut open, their seeds counted to telling rhymes like these:

One seed, a journey,
Two seeds, a wealth.
Three seeds, true love,
Four seeds, health.
Five seeds, a quarrel.
Six seeds, fame.
Seven seeds, betrothal.
Eight, a new name.
Nine seeds, travel,
Ten seeds, a ring.
Eleven seeds a fortune,
To you will bring. ~~ The Giant Hallowe'en Book, 1934"

I hope you will take some time to really look at the vintage postcards I have shared with you here and perhaps search for more online. Halloween is so much more than the scary side it has become.

I wish all my blogging friends a very Happy Halloween!

"No Will-o'-the-Wisp mislight thee;
Nor snake, or slow-worm bite thee:
But on, on thy way
Nor making a stay,
Since ghost there's none to affright thee."

~~ Robert Herrick ~~

Remarks: Thank you all for your comments! I truely appreciate each and every one! The renovations are going well and I will be able to show you the first room tomorrow, fingers crossed. I will also have more remarks to follow tomorrow.


Nunnie's Attic said...

Heidi I love the postcards! Where are you finding them? I love that particular style of cards. And I see them everywhere all over people's blogs.

I'm sure that there are gorgeous ones for Christmas and I would love to print them and hang them in my house.

Thank you so much for sharing. And the rhyme is so cute!!


Mary said...

Good morning dear friend and many thanks for leaving such welcoming comments.
Heidi - I've been reading what I missed while away - your home is so lovely (the construction very interesting, the low land and water being the reason of course).

Love all your beautiful books - that bookcase is amazing - and the family mementos proudly displayed. Your renovations sound exciting - know you'll be glad when completed - and love the paint color on the front door, such a welcoming entry.

Thanks for sharing such great vintage Halloween cards - so much prettier than what one finds today. This evening will be fine weather here - granddaughter Jasmin is stopping by in her beautiful gypsy costume - a gorgeous vintage tulle skirt, with the magnificent cape made especially for her by my art friend Patti whom we visited in Washington state this Summer. We are setting up the gazebo as her "parlor" and she will tell fortunes - should be fun!

I managed 7 hrs. sleep last night so hope to get more done today - including going for a flu shot, ugh!
Enjoy your All Hallows Eve - those stuffy Victorians weren't so "Victorian" really - they knew how to celebrate a fun time and didn't dwell on the pagan part which so many people now seem to use as an excuse to skip this colorful holiday. Have a great day dear.

P.S. Thought of you when visiting a Devon castle as there were toadstools in the grass - not pretty ones though - in fact a local man told us they had "gone over" and he wouldn't add them to his bag - so didn't photograph them.

Ragged Roses said...

Happy Halloween to you Heidi. I remember Halloween being so much fun when I was younger and loved apple bobbing.
Kim x

Kristen said...

I so prefer this side of the Halloween celebration! I am not a big proponent of Halloween and really enjoyed this post! Thanks for sharing with us!

Nancy said...

I remember the card with the little girl (you, Little Red
Riding Hood) in with the black
cat and pumpkin. It is so cute,
and reminds me of you. The one
with the cat and the pumpkin is
cute too.
I think of Halloween as a fun
time not bad or scarry. Even
though I do park my brooms at the
door. haha.,
Love you, Mom

Nancy said...

Happy Halloween Heidi!

Thank you for sharing these wonderful Halloween cards, and I too wish the old ways of celebrating would be revived.

I have seen the last two several times but not the others. They are all beautiful!

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

I use to LOVE bobbing for apples. Our church's youth group had festivities like this and was so much fun.

It was a lot of fun reading about the Victorian's view on the apple seeds. Yes, it would be great if we practiced the traditions of long ago...I think we all would have to throw out our computers, TV's, IPODS, cell phones...could we do it? Naw!!!

Happy Halloween and love the postcards!!!!!!! LOVE IT!

dracula kisses and monster hugs,


Nan - said...

I love this. What a wonderful posting, Heidi.

Anonymous said...

I loved reading this post with the poetry and folklore and beautiful illustrations. After reading about this lavishly illustrated halloween book, i ordered it from Amazon together with the accompaning little book of postcards. What a bargain. For less than three pounds, you get a book of about 20 reproduction vintage Halloween postcards. The postcards can be detached and used - if you can bear to part with them, which I can't...haha!The book really is as lovely as you describe and is a real mine of information (a bit like you, really :>))
Hugs, Angela