What is Mischief Night? When is it 2022, what day is it UK, is it still a thing and Halloween links explained
Mischief Night is a tradition which dates back to the 1700s
You will have all heard of Halloween and the trick or treating tradition that comes with that holiday. However, the start of November brings with it a host of other events including Mischief Night.
Mischief Night is the one night a year associated with pulling pranks on friends and family. But where does the tradition come from and when does it take place?
Here is everything you need to know.
When is Mischief Night 2022?
Mischief Night falls on Friday 4 November 2022 and takes place a day before Bonfire Night. In some instances it has also been celebrated on 30 October on the night before Halloween.
What is Mischief Night?
Mischief Night is an informal event which takes place each year. It is known by a variety of different names including Devil’s Night, Gate Night, Goosey Night and Moving Night. In many ways Mischief Night is linked to Halloween, however, the focus of the event is on tricks rather than treats. Mischief Night is seen as an opportunity for children, teenagers and adults to engage in a series of jokes, pranks and parties at the expense of friends and family members.
When did Mischief Night start?
The earliest reference to Mischief Night is from the 1700s when a headteacher at a school encouraged the children to play pranks on one another in a school play.
In some regions of the UK these pranks were carried out as May Day celebrations, however, over the years this trend shifted towards the winter months and pranks are typically carried out in late October or early November. Historians believe that children resonated more with the gunpowder plot associated with Bonfire Night.
What tricks do people play on Mischief Night?
There are a number of tricks and pranks which are associated with Mischief Night. These include throwing eggs and flour at one another and throwing toilet roll over buildings and trees. The tradition was very popular in the UK but its popularity has waned since the 1950s.
Controversy of Mischief Night
Although the name suggests that Mischief Night is just a time for harmless pranks there have been many instances where acts of crime and anti-social behaviour have taken place.
Merseyside police reported a huge increase in vandalism in 2019 on Mischief Night with firefighters attending 34 deliberately started fires. Police services in Teesside and Durhamhave criticised the use of the term Mischief Night and claim the terms “raises awareness of the night with young people” and claim that using the word is “part of the problem.”