The romantic history of Halloween

Anne Ewbank looked at the historical food rituals of Halloween where people tried to predict marriages through them, amongst other things. Here’s an old game called Snapdragon:

Some Halloween love rituals were considered spiritually dangerous. (I’m looking at you, dumb supper.) But snapdragon involves actual, physical danger.

It’s a very easy game, when you get right down to it: Pour high-octane booze over nuts and raisins, set them on fire, and stick your fingers into the flames for the fruit.

This was mostly a Christmas game, but around Halloween, it was often modified into a fortune-telling ritual. Which called for more kinds of fruits and nuts. Pulling a piece of candied ginger from the flames signified “a peppery wife or husband,” as one 1905 newspaper put it, while citron meant that the future spouse would be wealthy.

Nowadays, you get a sexy zombie nurse outfits for Halloween. Who said romance was dead? (heh heh heh)

Halloween related: Awesome Queer Halloween Parties in Castro and TheArtfulGabby’s Halloween makeup challenge for charity

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