Trick or Treat

How a Halloween tradition came to be.

Every year on October 31st, the western world celebrates a big event known as Halloween. In the Christian faith, Halloween is also called All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve, that is a day dedicated to remembering those who have passed away. The commonly used term “Halloween” is actually a shortened version of Hallows’ Evening.

Although originally there was a religious meaning to the holiday, Halloween has become an entertaining, fun, and spooky night of celebration with friends and family. For children, this means dressing up in costumes as their favourite super heroes or characters and going door to door calling out “trick-or-treat” for candy. There is also the tradition of carving scary faces on pumpkins and placing a candle inside. These are known as Jack-o’-lanterns.

Trick-or-treating is something children look forward to all year. Dressed in costumes, they go house to house asking for “treats” (candy). The “trick” in the phrase means that if no treats are offered, the child will pull a prank or cause mischief to the homeowner’s property.

Historically, “trick-or-treating” is said to be related to the Christian practice of “souling” in medieval times. On All Hallows’ Eve, groups of Christian “soulers” would go from parish to parish begging the rich for cakes. In exchange they would say prayers for the soul of those who gave them the cakes. Fast-forward to today and it is children who go house to house asking for candies.

Grown ups these days like to honour the night by attending costume parties, visiting haunted attractions, telling spine-chilling stories, playing pranks, and even watching horror films.

How ever you decide to celebrate this holiday, whether it is draping your house in spooky décor or dressing up in a fun or scary costume, you are sure to have a happy, spine-tingling Halloween.

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