Thanksgiving Maskers

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ever hear of Thanksgiving Maskers? Neither had I! In doing a little Turkey Day research, I discovered this strange holiday practice that took place during the late 1800s. Before Thanksgiving was made into an official national holiday, children would often dress up as hobos and go around begging for change.

Thanksgiving Maskers (LOC)

These costumed kids would go from door to door to ask for apples, or maybe they would scramble for pennies that were thrown down onto the ground. Eventually these practices slowly died out, but many of the rituals became more associated with how we celebrate Halloween today. These interesting photos of Thanksgiving Maskers are from the archives of the Library of Congress.

Thanksgiving Maskers (LOC)

Thanksgiving Maskers (LOC)

One Comment to “Thanksgiving Maskers”

  1. [...] holiday, little kids used to dress up as hobos and beg for change, a practice known as Thanksgiving Masking. The tradition originated in the early 1800’s when homeless men would wander from home to [...]

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