Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Witcheries of Halloween

The sweet calm sunshine of October, now
Warms the low spot; upon its grassy mold
The purple oak-leaf falls; the birchen bough
drops its bright spoil like arrow-heads of gold.
~William Cullen Bryant

The Modern Priscilla Magazine from October 1950 shared an article by Marion Harris Neil. She starts by going over deep-rooted superstitions that had gotten out of hand in times past, but now "Halloween assumed more the characteristics of a merrymaking festival". She advises that we only invite guests whom we are on "the terms of intimacy" with, so we won't be limited by restraints and will be able to have genuine fun and enjoyment. The article is very long, so I'm picking a few of the tips to share here. The language of the article tickles me more than anything.

Have your menu cards odd to suit this occasion, if you use them at all, and they should portray pictures of witches on broomsticks, owls, black kittens, or brownies (which are creatures from Scottish folklore- a little like gnomes. )

Decorations should be in autumn colors, mainly yellow and brown, with perhaps a little green thrown in the background. Jack-o-lantern faces should peer out of unexpected corners, and ears of dried corn, together with branches of red and brown leaves, should be suspended from the chandelier in the supper room. Use pumpkin shells for your jardinieres (*these are traditionally ceramics flower pot holders.).

There is no better place for the merrymaking than a barn. It may be decorated to your own wishes. Decorations may be elaborate and artistic, or they may be weird, and still the possibilities are all the greater when you can feel your gaiety may have its vent and do no damage to the pretty furnishings of a home.

I have more tips and recipes from this article on OFL:

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