When Thanksgiving Was Weird
I just caught an interesting article about a strange tradition that used to be held in the United States in the early 1900’s. Linton Weeks, over at NPR news, has dug up an old tradition that many have forgotten, or never knew about. Thanksgiving Maskers, Ragamuffin Parades, or Parade of Fantastics, call them what you will, judging by the photos on Mr. Weeks’s post, Thanksgiving used to look a lot like Halloween. So many people took part in this tradition that the mask making industry could hardly keep up. “The busiest time of the year for the manufacturers of and dealers in masks and false faces. The fantastical costume parades and the old custom of making and dressing up for amusement on Thanksgiving day keep up from year to year in many parts of the country, so that the quantity of false faces sold at this season is enormous.” – Los Angeles Times, November 21, 1897. The young masqueraders would slink along the streets pan handling for pennies, apples, or other goodies, when asking “What’s for Thanksgiving?” It would be no surprise if you found yourself handing over a delicious candy to a faux Charlie Chaplin doppelganger or a creepy young lady with a nylon screen over her face for a mask. Ahh memories. Good stuff from Linton Weeks, and I highly suggest you check out his article to discover more of the forgotten truths and traditions of Thanksgiving in America. Click here to check out the strange side of a beloved tradition.