History To-Go: Halloween

Victorians thought of Halloween differently than many of us do today. Queen Victoria wasknown for throwing elaborate Halloween celebrations. She would often ride in a carriage with a parade of people carrying torches towards a spot where a bonfire would be started, then they would be welcomed inside the castle for further entertainment. In the United States, Victorian Halloween was a fun celebration, too! Pumpkins were often seen during Halloween, but they weren't the only food item being carved - carving turnips was also a popular pastime. Carved pumpkins were often sent as invitations to Halloween parties. One might appear on a person's doorstep with a handmade card that had a short rhyme including all of the party's details. Many parties had themes - the most popular themes at the time were black cats, Mother Goose, and Cinderella - and were filled with fortune telling, ghost stories, dancing, and bobbing for apples. One game and tasty treat often found at these parties was the Halloween pudding. The host of the party would bake a fruit cake and hide five objects inside: a ring, a thimble, a coin, a button, and a key. At nine in the evening, the oldest person at the party would cut the cake into slices and hand them out to the other partygoers. If someone received one of the objects it would tell them what to expect in the coming year. The ring stood for marriage, the coin for wealth, the button for meeting a true love, the key for an upcoming trip, and the thimble for an old maid or bachelor. Victorian Halloween was a time for fun and fortunes rather than spooky and scary traditions!

October's "History To-Go" box features Architecture! You can come by the museum starting Tuesday, October 3, 2023 to pick up a box (limit 2 per family). Limited supplies, so come early!  You can select the links below to access the box contents if you cannot get to the museum to pick yours up! 

Halloween: Coloring Sheet 1, Coloring Sheet 2, Coloring Sheet 3
Halloween: Baking Recipes
Halloween: Instructions
Halloween: Invitation Activity 1, Invitation Activity 2
Halloween: Word Scramble

Thanks to funding from the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex Foundation Inc, and the Arts Council of Fayetteville we are offering FREE "History To-Go", take home craft kits. 

NEXT MONTH: Thanksgiving