The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #24442   Message #289832
Posted By: Penny S.
02-Sep-00 - 05:39 AM
Thread Name: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
There are traditions of mischief around GF night, in some areas it's called Mischief Night, but until the US Halloween customs came back over the pond a few years this had fallen into abeyance, encouraged by the police. I haven't seen many guys lately. There is less readiness to accept children off by themselves, interacting with unknown people. I'll try and find my book on seasonal customs, but I haven't seen it for some time, and last time the perfect binding had unbound.

I heard a program last year about an incident in East Anglia, when, unnoticed because of the detonations in the street, someone blew up the new organ in the church, a crime never solved. The vicar, young scion of the local big house, had installed it to expel the choir and band (see Hardy) with their right of choosing the psalm, through which they could comment on local issues. The program pointed out that in this particular village there was a conflict between the villagers who believed the village to be open (not controlled by the big house) and the local dominant family, who didn't.

There was a widespread tradition of using GF as a time to express opinion which at other times would be risky - jobs could be lost. The attitude of authority to this has been negative, and there are continued attempts to end or control the survivals in such a way that they lose all resemblance to the original. In Sussex, those who do this are liable to end up in effigy as enemies of Bonfire. Bridgewater in Somerset, has a similar situation as the town no longer approves of bonfires on the main, now tarmac'd street.