The holidays are a bright spot in an otherwise cold and dark time of year. Families travel to come together after months apart, friends and neighbors gather to enjoy each others company and all around it’s a ‘feel good’ time for many. Traditions vary of course, family to family; however, most of us have some combination of parade, feast, football and nap!
Knowing Thanksgiving as we do today, its hard to believe that about a century ago it looked a little more like modern day Halloween.
Cities in particular (especially New York) came to life on Thanksgiving. Hundreds of costumed children and adults would parade the streets going on “crawls”. Throwing flour or confetti on passers by was considered acceptable. Children would “beg” for something for Thanksgiving and were gladly given candy, pennies or other small tokens.
Its a strange event to wrap your head around, knowing the holiday as we do presently. Could you imagine walking down Main street on Thanksgiving day and being hit in the face with a handful of flour by a family in costumes, begging for change and candy? It’s an amusing visual, that’s for sure!
For historical photos of these Thanksgiving traditions, click the links below in our sources. There are some great photos from NPR, the library of congress and more!
The tradition didn’t last too far into the 1900s, but while it did, the bulk of children dressed like the poor or homeless. The day was even given the nickname ‘Raggamuffin day’ in reference to the costumed beggars. Manufacturers of masks and candy makers were busier than ever during the Thanksgiving season.
Though it was a popular past time at the start of the century, ‘Raggamuffin Day’ drew less participants as time went on. Virtually these crawls became replaced with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade which made its debut in 1924.
No matter your tradition, we wish you and your loved ones health and happiness this Thanksgiving!
‘Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.’ William Arthur Ward