WHY DO WE TRICK OR TREAT?

In order to know why we don creepy costumes for candy we need to take ourselves back to the Celts.  Their pagan festival Samhain, which fell on November 1st, celebrated the end of the fall harvest and the beginning of their new year.  It was believed that the night before the celebration the dead would travel home. As a mean of preventing evil spirits from entering the home, the Celts often left food on their doorstep to keep the spirits away. From here, we then have the Catholic Church commemorating All Saints Day on November 1st, and the previous day being All Hallows Eve. This led to the tradition of souling, in which children and poor people would offer a range of things such as jokes, singing, reciting poetry and saying prayers for the dead in an exchange for food or money. Souling then led to the 19th century practice of guising, in which the children would dress up, whilst performing for food or money. When guising morphed into trick or treating, the children would no longer perform for their treats, but would instead vandalize the homes they visited, leading to home owners offering the treats in exchange to not be tricked, instead of the children having to beg as they did in past traditions.

Aimee Costa

@aimeecoffee

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