The history of trick or treating is weirder than you thought
The history of trick or treating is weirder than you thought Service members and their families attend the Army's 229th Military Intelligence Battalion hosted by the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center "Trunk or Treat" event at Soldier Field, Oct. 28, 2016. (Presidio of Monterey/Neefer Duir/Flickr)
The history of trick or treating is weirder than you thought
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It's almost that time of year when children get into costume and traipse around the neighborhood ringing doorbells and begging for treats. When you think about it, trick or treating is kind of a weird thing, so where did it come from anyway?

Today I Found Out discovered that the practice began with the Celtic tradition of celebrating the end of the year by dressing up as evil spirits. The Celts believed that, as we moved from one year to the next, the dead and the living would overlap, and demons would roam the earth again. So dressing up as demons was a defense mechanism and if you encountered a real demon roaming the Earth, they would think you were one of them.

Fast forward to when the Catholic Church was stealing everybody's holidays and trying to convert them. They turned the demon dress-up party into "All Hallows Eve," "All Soul's Day," and "All Saints Day" and had people dress up as saints, angels and still a few demons. Today I Found Out writes:

As for the trick or treating, or "guising" (from "disguising"), traditions, beginning in the Middle-Ages, children and sometimes poor adults would dress up in the aforementioned costumes and go around door to door during Hallowmas begging for food or money in exchange for songs and prayers, often said on behalf of the dead.  This was called "souling" and the children were called "soulers".

You might think that this practice then simply migrated along with Europeans to the United States, but trick or treating didn't re-emerge until the 1920s and 1930s, and then it paused for a bit during World War II because of sugar rations, but its now back in full force.

The term "trick or treat" dates back to 1927. Today I Found Out explains:
The earliest known reference to "trick or treat", printed in the November 4, 1927 edition of the Blackie, Alberta Canada Herald, talks of this.

Hallowe'en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word "trick or treat" to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.

The British hate Halloween, apparently. In 2006, a survey found that over half of British homeowners turn off their lights and pretend not to be home on Halloween. Yet another reason by the United States is happy to be free from British rule - no fun.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/teen/history-trick-or-treating-weirder-you-thought/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What part of the history of trick or treating did you find most surprising? Why?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (60)
  • OhMae-bad
    10/28/2019 - 11:12 a.m.

    What part of the history of trick or treating I find most surprising is that on Halloween most of the British homeowners turn off their lights to pretend not to be home. Also what I found interesting is that it started because the Celtic thought that demons came to life was interesting. Then they started to simply start to progress forward from there and be mastered by person to person or from religion to religion.

  • MinaA-bad
    10/28/2019 - 11:12 a.m.

    I found out this way of history was very surprising. The fact that it stared because the Celtic thought that demons came to life was very interesting. Then started to simply start to progress forward from there and be remastered by person to person or from religion to religion.

  • ReeDohO-bad1
    10/28/2019 - 11:12 a.m.

    The British hate Halloween, apparently. In 2006, a survey found that over half of British homeowners turn off their lights and pretend not to be home on Halloween.

  • CamillaS-bad
    10/28/2019 - 11:12 a.m.

    In this article this part surprised me “ The Celts believed that, as we moved from one year to the next, the dead and the living would overlap, and demons would roam the earth again. So dressing up as demons was a defense mechanism and if you encountered a real demon roaming the Earth, they would think you were one of them.” This is because i knew that celebrating Halloween was basically celebrating the devil but I didn’t know that dressing up in customs is encountered as a real demon. HUH FASCINATING

  • OmaiD-bad
    10/28/2019 - 11:12 a.m.

    I find Halloween interesting and surprising because Celtic think that Halloween is where people dress up a demon and how the dead would rose up and Rome the Earth again. The British hate Halloween because in 2006 a survey found that half of the British hate Halloween but some people enjoy Halloween because that might be part of their religion. I think that Halloween is fun thing for the United States because they are happy to be free from British rule





  • KinO-bad
    10/28/2019 - 11:13 a.m.

    The most surprising part is where the United state of American give freedom to British about the Halloween but why those the British people close their light on Halloween and act like they not home or something.

  • EEW-bad
    10/28/2019 - 11:14 a.m.

    What part of the history of trick or treating i find most surprising is that British hated Halloween and most of their hometowns would turn off their lights to pretend like their not home.Its surprising that British peoples hate Halloween even though its a fun holiday, dressing up and knocking at your neighbors door shouting trick or treat

  • MaMetS-bad
    10/28/2019 - 11:14 a.m.

    Finding out that British homeowner will close light and pretended not to be home surprised me

  • OmarZ-bad
    10/28/2019 - 11:15 a.m.

    The part of history of trick or treating I found most surprising is the Catholic Church was stealing everybody’s holiday and trying to convert them and they turned the “demon dress up party” into “All hallow eve”, “All Soul’s Day”, and “All saints day’.

  • ChomaL-bad1
    10/28/2019 - 11:17 a.m.

    I find the part of dressing up as demons was a defense mechanism and if you encountered a real demon roaming the the Earth, they would think you were one of them Interesting. Because The Celtic tradition believed the dead and living would overlap, today people do not usually think demons coexist with humans. It seem interesting because the Celtic tradition used the costume as a defense from real demons, but people would think the costume is real demon. They are just fooling each other.

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