All Hallows Eve ‘Soul Cakes’

Hedgerow Vintage Blog & Shop

These little cakes are an old English tradition, Halloween (All Souls/All Hallows) is derived from the ancient Celtic festival called “Samhain” or “Feast of the Dead”. It has traditionally been celebrated with fasting and bonfires, especially on high ground, in order to light the soul’s way to heaven. “Souling” would take place the night before All Soul’s day, where “Soulers” would travel from door to door begging for soul-cakes and spiced ale in return for prayers and songs. It is thought this is the precursor to the ever popular trick or treating.

These are the words to the little song they would sing….

Soul, Soul, a soul cake!
I pray thee, good missus, a soul cake!
One for Peter, two for Paul,
three for Him what made us all!
Soul Cake, soul cake, please good missus, a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry, any good…

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