Why do we trick-or-treat on Halloween?

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The holiday now known as Halloween originated about 2,000 years ago when people called the Celts dressed up with masks and costumes to scare off ghosts and other spirits that they believed visited them on the night of October 31st. It then changed and evolved over the course of time to become the holiday we know today! – So where does the door-to-door candy come in?

The tradition of “trick-or-treating” has several possible origins. One possibility is that it goes back as far as the original Celtic Halloween (known as “Samhein”) when many say that it was tradition for Celtic people to leave offerings of food on their doorstep for the spirits who came around, to prevent the spirits from wanting to come inside the house. 

Another possibility is that trick-or-treating developed from the British practice of handing out food known as “soul cakes” on All Souls’ Day (a holiday observed on November 2nd to commemorate people who have passed away). The poor or hungry would go door to door on All Souls’ Day, asking for food in exchange for saying a prayer for the dead. Later, this evolved into children going door to door to ask for food and treats! 

Some also say that trick-or-treating comes from people who began imitating bad spirits a little too much and started pulling naughty pranks on the night of Halloween. Families started offering to give out treats in exchange for not being tricked!


by   (whyzz writer)
  • Exploration

    Do you usually go trick-or-treating on Halloween? If so, are there any special tricks that you like to do in order to earn you treats??
    Have you learned about any other possible origins behind trick-or-treating?
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