Question of the Week: What fall traditions did your ancestors have?

+7 votes

What fall traditions did your ancestors have? Have you kept them in your family?

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in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
reshown by Chris Whitten

11 Answers

+10 votes

The legendary college rivals Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns football game has been played in the Cotton Bowl during the Texas State Fair since 1929, and attending the Red River Showdown has been a family tradition. My mother never missed a game even though my birthday, 10 Oct, was often during that same weekend. This never bothered me; it only meant that I got to have a party and open my presents a weekend early. As far as continuing this tradition, we only watch it on television now, but last year we got together with a bunch from my husband's high school class to watch the game.

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (166k points)
+8 votes

Australia doesn't have "fall", we have autumn .. and autumn is 1st March to 31st May.  cheeky

No traditions.

by Melanie Paul G2G6 Pilot (234k points)
Howdy Melanie, thanks for the reminder about how "autumn"  has been overshadowed by the use of "fall" here in the US.  I recall referring to the season as autumn when I was a child, but that was a long time ago; must remember to use it more often.  These days though, a lot us in the southern half of Texas tend to think of there only being two seasons: summer, and a couple of days of winter in late January.

As far as the question about traditions go, many of my relatives main tradition was surviving until spring, particularly during the 1930s.
Thanks for bringing this point against the McDonaldisation of this web site.
+10 votes
Coming from a very culturally Norwegian tradition on my mom's side of the family, and considering October is nearly upon us, my great-grandmother used to tell me stories about trolls and nokken - spirits and ghosts, some malevolent and some kind, who lured people to water. We also make lefse for our Thanksgiving feast!
by Briana Roop G2G2 (2.3k points)
+7 votes
Taking the dadgum leaves at our house and my Grandpa’s across the pasture!
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)
+8 votes
I grew up in the Midwest where we had four distinct seasons: 1) Summer - humid and hot; 2) Autumn - Cold; 3) Winter - Freezing; 4) Spring - Cold. The tradition I remember most clearly is joining my dad, siblings and I and 'winterizing' my grandmother's home, garden and yard. In particular, we would rake the glorious melon-, crimson- and lemon-tinted leaves into a large pile, then jump into them. I can still recall the feel and scent of those autumn leaves. Dad would thank us for 'compacting' them, then have us rake them up again, and load them into bags and put into grandma's 'root cellar' for Spring composting.
by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (194k points)
+8 votes
In Tennessee people celebrate the fall by having pumpkin patches or fest, so craving pumpkins was the fun thing to do in many families and still is. Also Strawberry fests where they pick strawberries and make strawberry jam or jelly, homemade strawberry ice cream or fruit juice etc. Then of course getting ready for Halloween, whether it would be children dressing up and collecting candy in the neighborhood (I always looked forward to that) or going to a hunted house attractions. Now a days it may be too dangerous to go to strange houses in the neighborhood so churches and schools hold their own events in a safe enviroment.
by Dorothy Barry G2G Astronaut (2.1m points)
+8 votes
I don't know what the Fall traditions were in the "old country", but once they got established on the Canadian Prairies, Fall would have been a lot of work. Whatever fruit and berries could be gathered, bought, or grown was put in sealers, either as fruit, jam or jelly. Large gardens were harvested and vegetables canned for winter use. Pickling cucumbers and other vegetables to add some zip to winter meals. Potatoes had to be gathered and put in a bin in the root cellar for winter. Some meats were also canned. Once the bitter cold set in, the "cold box" in the yard could be filled with meat and fish. Thanksgiving, second Monday in October in Canada, meant a huge family dinner, with all the extended family close at hand invited.

It wasn't much different in my parent's home. More variety of fruit and berries were available, so there were jams and jellies to make, and all kinds of pickles and relishes made. Our huge garden was processed and frozen - much easier and less work that the sealers! Harvesting the potatoes was a family affair, and they still had to go in a bin in the basement. A side of beef, chickens, fresh caught and frozen fish all saw to good eating throughout the winter. We still had the big family dinner for Thanksgiving.

One Fall a neighbour lost his huge pile of bales to spontaneous combustion. The farmer who worked the oat fields below our little 3 acre holding donated his field to be baled. Off the school bus on Friday afternoon, my brother and I were told to change and get out there to help. I've never worked so hard in my life! The Prairie "thing" - we help and look out for one another.
by Linda Hockley G2G6 Mach 1 (11.6k points)
+4 votes
The fall tradition shared with my mother, Jimmie Jean Neeley Neeley-567, was - second only to prowling graveyards for ancestors  or interesting gravestones - was visiting old pecan trees in public spaces where we could collect pecans for pies and holiday dishes. My mom knew how to find the good ones !!
by LG Price G2G5 (5.8k points)
+5 votes

We don't use the term fall either but autumn is definitely the 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' 

The time of blackberry and apple crumbles and jams  and of harvest festivals. (but as a child, I  Iearned that  you shouldn't gather blackberries after Halloween because the devil has p****d on them!  Interestingly, our hotter temperatures mean that few are now useable past the first week or two of October )

I can think of only  one real tradition that persists,at least for most children; playing conkers. Notwithstanding adult fears of 'health and safety' considerations, it continues. On my daily walks, I see evidence of it's continuance in the form of discarded conker shells and of the  'little uns' too small to be winners.

Edit: Wikipedia says that the name 'fall' was used in 16th C England; the emigrants took it to the New World but 'we' replaced it with autumn.

by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (259k points)
edited by Helen Ford
+4 votes
The one fall tradition that pops to mind would be going upcountry to my grandparents summer cabin for the Fall Lockup.  We kids would have our last swim in the freezing lake & look forward to a large harvest dinner before locking up the cabins for another year.  Great memories.
by Brad Cunningham G2G6 (6.6k points)
+7 votes
My family came to the high mountains of Tennessee-in the 1700s. Making molasses and applebutter were fall traditions.

They were usually a family or  community events as they are a lot of peeling , coring, cooking and stirring.

A mule pulled the grinder for the cane to make molasses and it was a huge amount of work. Well worth it tho. It was a day of fun, gossip, sharing good food and telling of family and community stories. You would sleep like a rock that night.
by Cathy Forbes G2G Crew (410 points)

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