31st October. In my day, it was different. Now I really do feel old – but more of that later!
We didn’t do much at home. It is a pagan festival and was considered somewhat sacriligious and although I didn’t grow up in a particularly religious household – it wasn’t seen as something particularly to celebrate.
We went out to the local houses to knock and ask ‘trick or treat’ but none of us dressed up or had any ‘tricks’. It was a bit half-hearted. Kind of like when we went out carol-singing and only knew one line of the carols that we were singing and just repeated it until people paid us to leave.
Funny how an apple was perfectly acceptable as a ‘treat’. But sweets were better!
Anyway, back to Hallowe’en. I think the last time we went out as kids would have been before I started secondary school at 10. After that, it just became another day.
As a child (and to be honest, as an adult too.. who am I kidding?) Bonfire Night on November 5th is far more exciting and enticing.
Mischief Night (because we lived in Yorkshire for a period until my early teens) was more when you indulged in acts of minor and random vandalism when I was young, anyway. My recollections are that that was on the 4th November. Or it was where we lived anyway. That usually involved knocking on peoples’ doors and running away. That was about the limits of our ‘mischief’. Mischief Night always took priority over Hallowe’en. ‘Trick or treat’ was really just ‘asking for sweets.. or apples’.
Hallowe’en also used to scare me a bit. I was a fairly sensitive child and thinking about witches and ghosts coming out at night, well, it wasn’t something I liked very much.
I was consoled only by the thought that, being a November 1st baby, I just had to resist until past midnight and make it to my birthday – which is clearly FAR more important!