Every year you stock up on Snickers Bars, Smarties and candy corn. You open your door to every ghost, goblin and princess who knocks and you oooh and aaahh over their costumes as you pass out your Halloween candy. You do it because it s tradition, and it s fun, but traditions have to start somewhere and this one had a creepy beginning. Passing out candy to Trick-or-Treaters began way back in the Middle Ages. Each year, on November 2, Christians celebrated All Souls Day, a day to pray for the souls of loved ones who d passed away. On the day before All Souls Day. , poor people would wander their neighborhoods, knocking on doors, and volunteering to pray for the souls of the residents dearly departed loved ones in exchange for food. Homeowners passed out tasty treats Б versus bowls of gruel or stale popcorn balls Б to ensure they prayers were really said.
As extra insurance against wandering souls who might feel slighted in the prayer department and decide to haunt them for the rest of eternity, homeowners would also leave food on their doorstep that night, in the belief that a well-fed ghost is a happy ghost who d leave them alone for another year. During the Middle Ages a tasty treat might have been a loaf of bread and some jam, or an apple or pear or a bunch of grapes. But the urchins who come knocking at your door on Halloween these days would hardly be appeased with these simple treats. In fact, they d likely toilet paper your house and soap your windows. A Бtasty treatБ for today s Trick-or-Treaters is candy, particularly
and, like our ancestors in the Middle Ages, we re happy to pass out these treats if it means we won t be БhauntedБ by these little devils for another year!
Many of us love giving out candy to kids on Halloween, but have you ever wondered we do this in the first place? The is a fascinating one, to say the least. Let\’s just say that the trick-or-treating history didn\’t exactly kick off with people handing out Hershey\’s or Reese\’s willy-nilly to whomever dropped by their homes. The modern-day tradition of American stems from an ancient Irish tradition called Samhaim,. Celebrated during the final harvests of the year, the Celts marked the day as one of their most important festivals. Samhaim celebrated the link between seasonal and life cycles Б with elements of magic and mystery included (sound familiar? ). Where did trick-or-treating come from?
Samhaim was a pagan festival, so it was replaced in the 8th century by Catholic traditions, including new religious-themed holidays like All Saints Day, Allhallows Eve, and All Soul\’s Day. But after a few centuries passed, old customs Б like asking neighbors for cake Бbegan to make a comeback in Europe, just in a religious context this time. Believe it or not, kids used to be required to sing for their supper (err. we mean their sweets). These songs were supposed to be sung on behalf of the dead, and the little ones went from door to door to sing to anyone who would listen. These folks gave them \” \” Б round cakes with crosses on the top Б in return. When did trick-or-treating begin? Trick-or-treating as we know it today slowly evolved in the United States as European immigrants moved to the country in waves.
The first description of the words Бtrick or treatБ actually : БThe youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word Бtrick-or-treatБ to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing. Б (DonБt worry, the tone here was intended to be a playful one! ) Though the tradition was basically paused during the Great Depression and World War II, it finally resurfaced again after the war was over. Candy was much more popular around this time than soul cakes, so kids began to receive those sweets instead. So unless soul cakes make a comeback, you can probably expect to continue giving out for years to come. But don\’t expect any young people to sing to you before you dole it out! h/t