For the better part of a quarter century — [yeah, I can’t believe it either!] – the street we live on has hosted a Halloween street party the likes of which rivals even those we’ve seen on Beale Street in Memphis — although the music and the BBQ is arguably much better there. The treats for us are the kids dressed in costumes made by their parents who trick themselves out and are an even bigger treat to behold.
Having said that, the locals here on Belvedere Street take great pride in decorating their houses with ghouls, goblins and ghosts for the yearly celebration of this macabre holiday — its roots dating back to harvest traditions celebrated in countries like Merry Olde England when the “hallowed eve” of both All Saints Day (November 1st) and All Souls Day (November 2nd) was held on the last day of October; one of the rituals being that upper classes would prepare treats in the form of cakes and cookies that were distributed to the poor whom, dressed in costume (or in disguise) as if personifying the souls of the dead, went house-to-house, usually reciting verses or songs as portents of good fortune for the coming Winter in exchange for the treats. To not “treat” these “souls” could mean that the coming Winter held the possibility of unforeseen “tricks” of fortune.
Anyway, here is a brief six-minute tour down Belvedere Street taken shortly after we ran out of treats at 7:00 PM. You’ll note most of the celebrants are adults, as the kids and their parents routinely appear early, especially on a week night.
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