A One of a Kind Party
Halloween is one of the most fun decorating holidays of the year and trick-or-treating has been a tradition for eons. Do you know where the tradition of trick-or-treating comes from? Well, it is believed that it began with an event named Souling in Europe somewhere around the ninth-century. Souling was celebrated on November 2 or All Souls Day.
What would happen is that early Christians would go from village to village and beg for “soul cakes”. Soul cakes were squarish pieces of bread made with currants. As the beggars received a soul cake they would promise to say prayers for the souls the dead relatives of those who gave them a piece of soul cake.
The idea of this article is to help you plan how to plan a fun celebration around the ancient custom of Souling and to help make the celebration more fun by decorating your table especially for this event.
Gather all of your family around and talk with them about hosting a Souling Party. You may need to tell them about Souling and you can prepare for this by googling the term Souling and you will find many resources to help you tell your family the story of Souling and soul cakes.
When you have the family convinced they think hosting a Souling Party would be a fun idea, then start the planning. Start with designing your Souling Party invitations and identifying who you want to invite to your Souling Party.
Since Souling means going from village to village begging for soul cakes, you might ask your guests to each bring a cake to share with everyone. All of the cakes are cut into pieces and in order to get the piece of cake you want, you have to ask “beg” it’s maker for a piece. If you truly follow the tradition, the person asking for, or begging, needs to promise to do something for the cake maker. If the cake maker likes what the beggar promises, they give that piece of cake to the beggar.
Why not make part of your party a cake exchange -like a cookie exchange. Let guest take home a variety of the extra pieces of cake.
Now for the table decorations – in keeping with the theme of soul cakes and walking from village to village – a fun way to decorate your table would be to make a centerpiece that runs the length of the table and looks like small village. The whole family can get involved in designing what buildings will be in the village.
- An assortment of empty boxes of all shapes and sizes
- An assortment of colored papers such as construction, tissue, card stock etc.
- Markers, colored paper etc.
- A large piece of cardboard or piece of Styrofoam for attaching and holding the buildings and other decorations of the village. The piece should be almost as long as your table and wide enough to not be in the way of people eating at the table.
- Have the family decide what buildings are going to be made out of each box and write the name of the building on the box (church, school diner etc).
- Let each family member pick which building(s) they want to make.
- Cover each box in the color of paper that is appropriate for each building and decorate the building with windows, a roof, doors, etc.
- When the buildings are all finished, attach them to the Styrofoam or cardboard with glue.
- Add decorations around the village such as streets, trees, flowers, leaves, street lights, cars, people, buses, ghosts, witches, bats, pumpkins etc.
- If you have knowledge of electricity, you might be able to add holiday lights to your village for an even more festive appearance.
You now are ready to go begging for soul cakes and having a great time with family and friends. You can be sure, that you will probably be the first one on your block to host a Souling Party and, who know – it might just become a family tradition.