We all know that Halloween is exactly one week from today, but do you know what age old tradition is “celebrated” the night before Halloween? You guessed it – Cabbage Night! However, many of the adults that look forward to the festivities of Halloween night do not look forward to having to keep watch on Cabbage Night. That is one night that mostly teenagers look forward to.
In parts of the U.S. it is known as Cabbage Night, Goosey Night or Doorbell Night and is always on the evening of October 30th. Tricks like toilet papering yards and houses, powder-bombing and egging cars, and smashing pumpkins are just a few of the tricks played by teenagers on that night. In Northern England it is also known as Miggy Night, Goosey Night, Tick-Tack Night, Corn Night or Trick Night. In Liverpool UK, it is known as Mizzie Night. In Ireland, it is called Mischief night and is becoming so popular that teenagers get the week around Halloween off school.
While reading my Good Housekeeping magazine there was an article from “Ask Heloise” on how to survive the many Halloween pranks we see occur on Cabbage Night. She suggests that if your property gets trashed try cleaning up in this order: First, tackle your vehicles; second, your house – front door, steps, windows; third, clear trees, shrubs and lawn.
You got egged: If you have egg splattered on your car or house act quickly. Both yolk and white can corrode painted surfaces. If your car is egged, hose off the gunk. Be careful with the shells, rubbing them can cause scratches. Continue to spray and they’ll loosen and wash away. If your house is egged, pressure-wash with a hose. To remove dried egg from siding, mix a teaspoon of enzyme-based detergent in a cup of warm water and apply with a soft brush until it dissolves, then rinse it off.
Toilet-Papered: Clean this up before it rains. Wrap duct tape (sticky side out) around the end of a yardstick to pick up small pieces. Knock wet toilet paper balls out of trees with a broom and sweep up the rest.
Soaped-up Car Windows: Use lots of water and a soft scrub brush or nonabrasive pad to protect the glass.
There are ways to make your home less of a target for teens on Cabbage Night:
- Keep exterior lights on all night
- Bring in any pumpkins that you have on the porch
- Put cars in the garage or cover them with a tarp
- Put trash cans, bikes, and lawn equipment inside
- Keep your pets indoors
To some teens Cabbage Night is like a right of passage and for the most part they’re just out goofing off, having fun and they don’t mean any real harm. But to the children whose pumpkins they smash or the adults who have to pay to have their car cleaned it doesn’t seem that way. So play it safe this year on Cabbage Night and be sure to bring in anything from outside that you or your children don’t want damaged. It’s just one night a year. We can get through it and then on to the real fun of trick-or-treating on Halloween night!