Vintage Hallowe'en Cards
The stamp and coin show was last weekend.....
I like to go for a couple of reasons...
........one being that I collect vintage post cards.
I'm always amazed at the variety of postcards that have been printed over the years....
Cards about places,
... cards about peoples,
.... cards about humor,
...... cards about sentiment.
And of course, cards about HOLIDAYS.
If you're a regular reader,
that I've already posted several really fun posts about cards...
ranging from "Antique Valentine cards" ,
seaside cards, ---
and more abstruse subject matter.
...............if you haven't seen them, check out the links after you're finished here...
Since this is the end of October,
I thought it might be fun to look at some cards from a bygone era celebrating a holiday that we seldom send cards for these days --- Halloween.
You say you didnt even know people sent cards on Halloween?
Sure-- before there was E-Mail......
before Twitster, or MyBlab, or Mugbook ---
..... people stayed in touch with cards for every occasion.
And there were some really cool cards printed for Halloween.
The ones I really like are from the early part of the century, between 1910 and 1940.
They speak to way people thought, and to the way people felt --
-- you can see both an innocence and a subliminal, superstitious fear portrayed in them.
Many of these were intended to be sent by adults to adults.......
..... but of course, there were plenty of kid's cards, too.
They often would serve as invitations to Halloween parties,
... and there were numerous references to the kinds of activities carried on at them.
Bobbing for apples, kissing games, dressing up in costume...
Interestingly enough, our ancestors saw Halloween as a very sexy holiday....
a time for a little innocent flirting......
( it might have someting to do with the possible connection of Halloween and the ancient Roman feast of Pomona - the goddess of fruits, seeds, ...... and fertility. )
The artwork is quite good on these, the colors vivid, despite some being over 8o years old.
........ the lithography is sharp and distinct,
........ and the clothing styles are also fun to observe.
The Jack-o-Lantern is a very common ingredient in the layout of these cards....
The practice of carving jack-o-lanterns is derived from a practice of the Middle Ages to commemorate the souls in purgatory by carving turnips.
Pumpkins do work much better, I imagine, especially if you light em up.
Other common elements are witches, and the archaic spelling of the holiday --- HALLOWE'EN.
( derived from a much older term for the holiday - "ALL HALLOWS EVEN" (evening).
The witches are tied in with the tradition of divination games played on the day in ancient times.
Trick or treating is another very old aspect of the holiday, dating back to the Middle Ages.
Originally, it was a practice called "souling" -- begging on behalf of the souls of the departed.
Giving away Snickers bars is a newer innovation, though........
In it's current form in the United States, 'trick or treat' started in earnest during the Great Depression.
When I was a kid, my favorite treat to get was pennies ---
....of course, they went a lot further then.
I also liked getting candied apples...
....even though I remember hearing stories even back then about apples with razors in them.
( who'd go to the trouble of candying a booby trapped apple anyway? )
One guy used to give out punk sticks --
--those are like reeds that burn like incense but keep mosquitoes away --
--- and I always looked forward to walking around with some lit punks on Halloween.
( I thought I looked like Blackbeard the Pirate... )
As for candy, I liked the candy corn, jawbreakers, fireballs, and chocolate.
I didnt like getting plain apples, or those popcorn ball thingees either.
......... ahhh.. to be a kid again.... huh?
So, to you, my dear readers.........
May Jack-O-Lanterns burning bright
Of soft and golden hue
Pierce through the futures veil and show
What fate now holds for you.
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