How it is Celebrated by the Boys and Young Girls.
TRICKS PLAYED UPON HOUSEHOLDERS AND PEDESTRIANS – HOW TO ASCERTAIN ONES FUTURE HUSBAND OR WIFE – HOW A MAIDEN CAN HAVE HER FORTUNE REVEALED TO FOR IN A STREAM.
Tomorrow is All Saints' day and tonight being All Halloween the young folks will no doubt do their celebrating as usual.
All Halloween is the evening preceding All Hallow day – – properly called All Saints' day. Hallow–tide is a comprehensive name for both days. There is scarcely any time more distinguished than this by the common people throughout the British Files. This is probably owing to the fact of November 1 having been one of the four great festivals of their pagan ancestors. It was formally celebrated by the immense bonfires in Wales, Ireland, the Scotch Highlands and even in England; in the latter place up to a very recent. And occasionally at the present time. The custom also prevails at present among the Welsh people who still practice superstitious rites for defining the future.
In Ireland particularly st1 November is regarded as the proper time to offer thanks for the realize fruits of the earth. The Irish in this regard call it La Mas Ubhal - that is, the day of the Apple fruit, and celebrated with seat of roasted apples mixed in – AL or milk. Chas. Graydon, the Irish poet, very aptly describes one favorite practice thus:
These glowing nuts are emblems true
Of what in human life review:
The mismatched couple fret and fume,
And thus in strife themselves costume.
Or see the happy, happy pair.
Of generous love and truth sincere.
With mutual fondness whole they burn,
Still to each other totally turn:
Till life fears or deal being passed,
Their mingled ashes rest at last.
Halloween has always been the occasion of an enjoyable time in Christian countries. The performance of spells by young people to discover their future partners for life has been one of the most popular usages, as well as fireside reveries, such as cracking nuts, dunking for apples and other enjoyments. It is the night when witches, evil spirits and other mischief making been our abroad on their midnight journeys, and when the fairies are supposed to hold their grand anniversary. The custom of celebrating Halloween's night is still kept up and the evil-spirited boys, as well as the fair maidens, take part in the celebration.
THE SMALL BOYS FUN
Whether witches, devils in other evil spirits go about on their baneful errands or not is probably a question of belief for those who study such things; but certainly if they do not the small boys take their place on earth, while the maidens take the places of the fairies and give parties and social gatherings for their friends. The mischievous boys were among the foremost of the merrymakers, but as boys will they generally carried [sic] their amusement so far as to make them objectionable. Bonfires was [six] the general order of the occasion when the city streets were not concreted and when large vacant lots were more numerous than they are now. When their material became exhausted and the fires could no longer be kept up the little demons turned their attention to their favorite pastime of the occasion, which was to annoy their neighbors in various ways, such as to tie the dead bodies of small animals on front doors, or ring doorbells and help persons answering the Bell with cabbages or some other objectionable article. Sometimes live animals were used, when dead ones were scarce, and it was not an unusual happening to be awakened after midnight by the helping dog that the boys had tied to the door bell.
THE SHOWER OF FLOUR
In these days the boys consider themselves as boys no longer, and they turned their attention to the social gatherings, while some of the older young men have gone back to some of the pranks that were formerly played by young America. Particularly does this apply to the throwing of flour about the street. During the past few years in the city this form of amusement has them lighted many parties of young men and cause merriment to persons on the street other than those who happen to fall victims [sic].
In the first place some preparation is made as a security against the police, and that is often done by turning the coat inside out and wearing a slouch hat turned in the same manner. There are some who do not care to risk this, and they used burnt cork on their faces. When once disguised in this manner each of the party takes a bag of flour and they start out to turn black into white, and before the night is over they generally succeed, even if they also succeed in getting in the lock-up. Colored persons are generally the victims selected, because the flower shows more plainly and with better affect on their faces, while a well-dressed white man would not get slighted should he in his travels meet the crowd that is out for a night's enjoyment.
Some of the smaller boys seem to find enjoyment in serenading pedestrians with dead animals or soft vegetable matter, such as decayed apples, tomatoes and potatoes. The changing of signs from one place of business to another was also indulged in to a great extent, and on the morning of All Saints' day many persons, from outward appearances were unable to tell whether they were keeping a drugstore, a barbershop or a liquor saloon.
Another, and one of the most annoying, pranks of the boys was to take a shutter from a house and put it against the front door of the same house, or of one of the neighboring dwellings, and then ring the bell, so that the person who opened the door would either get the weight of that section of the house upon them or would be put to the trouble of removing the obstacles in order to close the door.
BOPPING FOR APPLES
is probably one of the oldest customs in connection with the celebration and it still plays a part in the day festivities attending and All Halloween party. The apples, placed in a time of water, must all have stems, as it is by the stem alone that the apple is permitted to be taken from the water,
A trick, amusing to all except one of the party, is played with two plates and the peculiar in doing requires it to be performed in a dark room. A basin of water, a piece of soap and a towel are also required at the ending. Two rooms are also needed. In one there must be no light, while in the other a dim light is all that is required. The fortuneteller takes his or her position in the room where the light is dimmed and the person who is anxious to learn something of their future partner goes into the other room. A plate is on a table in either room, the one in the dark room being black and over a gas jet or smeared with such from the stove pipe. The maneuvering of the fortuneteller has to be followed by the one who is endeavoring to peer into the future. The result is shown by a glance in the looking glass.
chestnuts are named and roasted, and the one that "pops" first is the name of the lucky or unlucky one, as the case may be.
At such gatherings it is customary for the host to bake a cake and have a gold ring placed in it. When refreshments are served the person doing the honors cup the cake and passes and about the table. The ring has to be in one of the slices, and the one who gets it, tradition has it, be the first in the party to wed.
WHAT THE GIRLS DO.
There are many other interesting method of telling Fortune on such occasions and the final scene is done when the male members of the party have gone to their homes and the and the maidens prepare to their rooms. When the light is extinguished they are supposed to fold one of their garments and repeat the following:
"Hallee'n night I go to bed,
I put my petticoat under my head,
To dream of the living and not of the dead,
And dream of the one who I am to wed."
Sunday is All Souls' day, which, is a day set aside to commemorate all the faithful departed. It is a holiday that is observed in the Roman Catholic churches in this country, while in some other countries it is observed by other denominations, who remember the dead by strewing flowers on their grades. This service follows All Saints day, when festivities are held in honor of the saints and angels in heaven.
 The Evening Star.;
(DC), District of Columbia
Transcribed by John Peter Thompson, October 31, 2014.