Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Ragamuffins

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!


Blogger Clare said...

Me too on the stuffing!!

10:27 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Haha! Very cool. Did you go out for Black Friday? I did! Me and my sister sat in front of this one store for an hour only to find out they didn't even have any sales... :( I did get a cute Skelanimals bag, a chocolatey Face wash from Lush (best store EVER!!!!), a great present for my mom, and tried a bad-tasting coconut bubble tea!!! :D

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Forrester said...

I like green bean casserole.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous ~chanel~ said...

I love stuffing, but the marshmallow topped sweet potatoes are my alltime favorite.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Reel Dancer said...

real mashed potatoes all the way!!!!! if i had to live off of one food for a week it would be those!!!!

3:32 PM  
Anonymous WillSing said...

too...stuffed with ....mac and cheese to type much...God my tummy hurts...but its so cool

4:51 PM  
Anonymous bookworm said...

they talk about that in "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"

6:26 PM  
Blogger Micci said...

OMG, we so need to bring that tradition back! Heres for it in California.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous gymnast20 said...

i looove stuffing.. but im with reeldancer on hte mashed potatoes!! sooo goood!!! and the pics of the old parade are so cute i went this year and it was great :)

7:08 PM  
Blogger brave chickens said...

Once I ate mashed potatoes. They made me wanna gag.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Forrester said...

brave chickens:Were they real or the freeze dried box flake kind? I love homemade mashed potatoes. Yummmm. Also green bean casserole

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anna: What was the present?

10:09 AM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...

soooooooo... were any of u (like me) surrounded by loud children who wake up @ 6 this weekend??? just wondering..... and i'm asking again if any of u irish step dance. i need a friend in this world of scary spray tans ( to b avoided @ all costs) and curly wigs (never put 1 on willingly) and makeup (rather itchy) what about u reeldancer? that's a dance in irish dancing. there were girls this week in my competition who were orange they were so spray-tanned. AAAHHHHH!!! sorry bout the long post, i ramble............

6:25 PM  
Blogger Reel Dancer said...

MushroomCloud!!! I'm an irish dancer!!!!! Yeah!!! Go us!!!!! I feel bad for you with the wigs and make-up :P my group doesn't compete!! I find make-up gross so it's nice not having to worry about it!!!

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Funny Drama Girl said...

Pecan Pie!!!!!

12:53 PM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...

reel dancer: u r wayyyyy 2 lucky!!!!!!!!!! Competitions r fun, but once u put on 1 of the dresses u can't sit down!!!!!!!!!!! @ the oireachtas (the comp.) everyone looked like oompaloompas!!!!!!!!!!!

5:35 PM  
Anonymous 42 said...

I'd love to bring the Ragamuffins back!

Cool parade! I never knew it went back that far.

I've never had stuffing. It's good, I guess?

9:53 AM  
Anonymous liltomboyblue said...

Ok! To my history teacher- thanks for being awesome.

This is based on something really, really, really old- as in may have originated from the infamous gun powder plot!! Remember, remember the 5th of november... The holiday on Nov. 5th came to America and evolved as a holiday to basically make fun of catholics and the pope. However, G.W. made it a law that for a period of time the 5th of November was not to be celebrating because he was working on relations with France (Catholic France) and so the holiday died away. However, it eventually came back to life- similar traditions. They would have a parade as always, with wagons. However, it turned basically into a gang fight where the rival gangs (E. and W.) would make wagons, meet in the middle, and basically riot. Eventually, some children were killed, and the practice was outlawed. However, a practice of the holiday was for children to dress up and go from house to house to beg for food and money (like halloween) so basically the holidays merged.... I'm guessing this came from that original tradition!!!

12:36 PM  
Blogger Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City said...

Liltomboyblue: That's really interesting. You could do an amazing history paper on that. If not now, then when you're in college. Save the idea!

5:11 PM  
Blogger 1tufcookie said...

arent u like allergic 2 everything

4:38 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

People should bring back that tradition D:

6:48 PM  

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