Hallowe’en is coming and the goose is getting fat… That was what we sang door to door at Hallowe’en back in Belfast. Tuneful? No. A seasonal song? No. On the scrounge? Yes.
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat… At some houses my mates and I were listened to once, then other residents would be summoned to the door for a repeat of our odd performance.
If you haven’t got a penny, a pound will do… And at many doors we were turned away empty-handed. Which was fair enough, given that we were no more than a bunch of chancers. Though I thought it was harsh to demand an encore before dismissing us for no fee.
I’m working nights at the moment, so I’ll not be there either to answer the door or to accompany junior trick or treaters round our village. It’s fairly wholesome. The list of doors to be called at is pretty much the same as the addresses of the large straggling group of door knockers.
Anyone else who wants a visit puts a pumpkin at their door to indicate that callers are welcome.
Each year one of the local churches puts on a Festival of Light party, as a Christian alternative to what is seen as a pagan, devilish or (even worse) imported American event. Oi! It’s not American. Or it’s at least as Irish as it is American anyway. Though pumpkins do seem to have displaced the turnips of my youth.
And to be fair to the Festival of Light organisers, they do put on a good fireworks show. Though their goodwill must be sorely tested by the number of children turning up dressed as demons, witches, zombies, etc. (I have a very cute demon myself. Or is she a devil? We haven’t quite established which.)
There are suggestions that trick or treating should be banned in some areas this year after the recent English riots. But happily, round our way, it’s mainly little children scuttling and scampering along causing damage only to their teeth and stomachs from the amount of sweets they hoover up.
Huh! Kids these days. We got small oranges instead. (Santa was keen on handing them out too. I suppose once upon a time – in the olden days as my children might say – oranges were more of a luxury than one of your mandatory five-a-day.)
For other Hallowe’en thoughts: