Friday, November 27, 2009
I have some serious weirdness for you this morning. I should have posted it yesterday, but I was too full of stuffing to move. (I LOVE stuffing. It's one of my top ten favorite foods. My Thanksgiving dinner plate is always 80% stuffing, 20% everything else.)
Okay, back to the topic at hand. Apparently, a strange tradition developed in New York City in the years between World War I and World War II. On Thanksgiving Day, kids all over town would dress up in their finest duds and most outlandish costumes and go from house to house shouting, "Anything f' Thanksgiv'n?" The homeowners were supposed to supply the annoying little scamps with money, fruit or candy.
The kids were called Thanksgiving Ragamuffins. According to one expert, "Ragamuffin parades, which harkened back to European traditions, were a chance for the poorer immigrants of New York to march through the streets in extravagant costumes, begging for change."
You see? It's this kind of thing that makes New York great. I've ALWAYS said that Halloween just isn't enough. Kids should demand TWO days of costumes and treats every year! Let's bring back the Thanksgiving Ragamuffins!
In the meantime, check out some Thanksgiving Ragamuffins from 1933 here, at the NYPL Digital Gallery!
Oh, and how about these pictures from an early Macy's Thanksgiving Parade? I LOVE that pig!