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A Victorian Halloween

The Victorian era took place during the 1800s when Queen Victoria ruled the United Kingdom. At this time, women's roles were focused on home and family. They wore very conservative, yet expensive, clothes and jewelry. Men were true gentlemen who exuded classical manners and chivalry. Children were brought up with discipline and refined etiquette. Proper breeding was very important to every family.

In the Victorian era, October 31st was a night of feasting, dancing, playing games, and telling ghost stories to friends and family - not Halloween costumes and "trick or treating". During this era, American men and women regarded Halloween as a peculiar event introduced by their English counterparts. Although Americans were repelled by magic and some horrifying, as well as religious aspects of the tradition, they enjoyed the fun festivities and romance that were brought about by Halloween. Witchcraft, superstitions, spooky stories, and folklore were mostly removed from the American tradition.

In regards to romance, Halloween ignited the act of postcard and love note exchange. Although this had been widely practiced throughout the Victorian era, people became more giving on occasions such as Halloween. Ghost stories told by women did not dwell on eerie and strange tales but rather, on love and romance.

Today, the Victorian Halloween is still being pursued. Here are some ideas and suggestions on how to celebrate Halloween, the Victorian way.

  • Victorian Halloween Luncheon: Decorate the dining room in shades of brown and yellow, and place a Jack-o-lantern in the room. Set the table without using any table cloth and put a pumpkin filled with a variety of fruits and nuts, or flowers, if you desire.

  • Victorian costumes for men and women: In the Victorian era, women wore clothes that covered their entire body and many petticoats. Men in the Victorian era, on the other hand, wore hats and dark suits and vests, as well as pocket watches.

  • Victorian Halloween menu: In serving food and drinks, the preparation needs to be extravagant and fanciful. A vastly laden table including roast, pies, cakes, salad, and bread represent a rather typical Victorian menu.

  • Victorian tea parties were part of the Victorian tradition and were consequently held during Halloween and other occasions. Different varieties of sandwiches and scones were often served along with the tea.

  • Fortune-telling was commonly practiced during Halloween in the Victorian era. Adults reveled in finding out about their fortune in love and career. Hiring a professional fortune teller is a great idea, but doing it yourself can also be a load of fun.

  • Halloween cards, such as Pumpkin cards, and crafts like Halloween trees were often made during the Victorian era. If you have more time, making a quilt for your loved ones can be rather Victorian as well.

The most important thing in a Victorian Halloween is to exhibit the virtues of the Victorian spirit. For this reason, it's good to know some Victorian manners to create a sense of Victorian realism.

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