Thanksgiving Begging

(Originally Posted Friday, November 2, 2007)

Has anybody here ever heard of Thanksgiving begging?

Years ago, my mother, who grew up in New York City, told me that as a child in the 1920s and 1930s, she never went trick-or-treating. On Halloween there were parties, and the kids tried to scare each other. On May Day, they dressed up in costumes. And on Thanksgiving, they dressed up in rags and went “Thanksgiving begging.” People would give the beggars fruit or money.

I googled this up quickly on the Web and it looks to be a New York City and New Jersey thing.

Anybody there know about it?


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