Thursday, October 22, 2015

Guest blogger Carolyn Emerick

I spend a lot of time wondering about where ideas, beliefs and customs come from, it keeps me entertained when I am gardening and do other chores. Plus I am just basically curious about when I found this, I had to share. Now I'm gonna spend my rainy day reading the links at the end of the article.
Written by  Carolyn Emerick

Trick or Treat - British or American
I have seen some Brits complaining about "American" trick or treating, happens every year. Many customs, practices, words, phrases, songs, etc, left Britain with Scots-Irish who came to America. Sometimes the custom was preserved as is, and sometimes it evolved. Then when it was reintroduced after it had died out in Britain, the people there no longer recognized the practice.
Trick or treat, though perhaps not under that name, is indeed originally British. Scots-Irish families often came to America due to necessity (famine, highland clearances, etc), but they desperately missed their homeland and the people they left behind. So they kept their customs and cultural identity strong as it was passed down through their families. Europeans often mock Americans for saying "I'm part Irish" or whatever their heritage is. Europeans usually shoot back "um, no you're not, you're American." They don't understand the idea of family cultural identity apart from national identity unless their country has a history of large waves of immigration.
I previously wrote an article on Hop-tu-Naa, which is Halloween on the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man has been traditionally somewhat cut off from trends in the rest of Great Britain before the age of mass media and the Internet made contact easier and cheaper. Therefore their old customs stayed alive even when they died out in the rest of Britain. And, they were also separated from incoming new trends, such as American customs.
Children on the Isle of Man have been participating in going door to door asking for treats with their Jack-o-lanterns right along back to ancient times! It died out in the rest of Britain, but not the Isle of Man! Now it's come back, and (sorry) ignorant people are calling it American! (I do not intend the word ignorant as insulting, but simply that people do not have this knowledge of their own cultural heritage).
It makes me saddened and honestly a bit upset to see British people using "American" as a negative connotation and rejecting their own heritage come home because it took a detour in the U.S. It also saddens me because I love culture, history, and believe folk customs are hugely important to social identity, and in America trick-or-treat is dying out due to irrational overly fearful helicopter parents.
So, please, my British friends, do not hate "American" Halloween customs! Realize that it comes from our SHARED heritage! It lived on because families who were forced to leave their homes made an effort to keep culture alive in a new land!
For more on Manx Hop-tu-Naa, please read my article here:…/Hop-tu-Naa-Halloween-o…
Other old European Pagan connections:
The custom of going around through town asking for food or beverage was tied to MANY of the old Pagan high days. In an effort of intense research, I discovered that Trick-or-Treat is related to Christmas Caroling. I also discovered that going around town asking for food and threatening to "curse" any who refused also occurred at Candlemas.
To read about the ancient pagan roots of Christmas Caroling, read my article The Hidden History of Christmas Carols. I promise you will NOT find this information anywhere else! (Unless they stole it from me, people are stealing my research lately)…/The_Hidden_History_of_Christmas_…


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Motherless kittens out looking for adventure, but finding a meal